Congressman Steve King says he’s mulling the idea of running for governor rather than for reelection to congress in 2010. "I have a job today that I very much enjoy and I’m eager to start every day and I’m sorry to have to give up on each day," King says. "…It’s a wonderful privilege to serve the people of this country and the state of Iowa, but I’ve made no decision."
King, a Republican from the western iowa town of Kiron, considered running for governor in 2006, but decided against it. Democrat Chet Culver was elected in 2006 and has made it clear he intends to seek re-election to a second term. A handful of Republicans already have expressed interest in running for governor in 2010, and King’s not ruling out joining that list. "It’d be foolish to foreclose options," King says. "And I think it’d be constructive, though, at this point for me to say that our most important job right now is to bring together and reunify the Republican Party in this state."
King met privately today with Republicans who serve in the state legislature and new Iowa Republican Party chairman Matt Strawn joined King in one of those meetings. "And I said this to the Republicans this week in the statehouse: I think that we will gain seats in 2010…in the Iowa Legislature and in congress,’" King says. "And I say that for a number of reasons, but we have people that are coming out today that said they didn’t want to commit themselves to a life of public service. Now they’re frustration’s driving them. Our recruitment is better. They’re seeing the cliff that we’re being driven over, economically, and they want to pull us back from that."
King, who was elected to a fourth, two-year term in 2008, says he was "not very optimistic" about Republican chances last year because of an unpopular war and an unpopular Republican president. King says in addition, too many Republicans who’d walked away from the "convictions" the helped Republicans win control of congress in 1994. "We didn’t have anything going on that really gave the public confidence in Republicans," King says. "We’ve got a lot to earn back."
King made his comments tonight during taping of "Iowa Press," a public affairs program which will air Friday night at 7:30 on Iowa Public Television.