A political newcomer from Marion is the Republican Party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate. Thirty-six-year-old Christopher Reed is a Navy veteran who will face Senator Tom Harkin in the fall. “I think Iowans came out and said one voice and said they’re tired of politics and the status quo in Washington,” Reed says, “and they’re ready for a fresh, young face in Washington.”

To win a primary in Iowa, a candidate must accumulate at least 35 percent of the vote. Reed got 35.3 percent in yesterday’s voting, followed closely by George Eichhorn. A third candidate, Steve Rathje, got about 30 percent of the vote. Reed jokes that he wore out a pair of shoes as he paced the floor, waiting for an outcome. “I was just watching the numbers come in and watching the numbers grow and the percentage go up,” Reed says. “(I’m) thankful for a lot of Iowans.”

Eric Woolson, a spokesman for the Eichhorn campaign, isssued a statement shortly before midnight. “Obviously, the race is extremely close and a clear winner will not be decided tonight,” Woolson said. “I think both the Eichhorn and Reed campaigns will want to see the results of the official canvass.”

Reed believes he gained votes by appearing in a debate last Friday with Eichhorn that was televised on Iowa Public Television and Reed relishes the chance to debate Harkin this fall. “I plan on uniting Iowa by letting them know if they agree that Washington is broken we can’t…fix it by sending the same man back to Washington for a fifth term,” Reed says.

Harkin was elected to the U.S. House in 1974 and won election to the U.S. Senate in 1984.