The top two leaders in the Iowa legislature are contemplating bids for higher office. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, is likely to run for Iowa’s first district congressional seat.
“Congressman Braley obviously made the announcement he’s going to run for the United States Senate. As soon as that happened I started having people…ask me what my intentions were and I said Iowans expected me and my (House Republican) Caucus expected me to stay focused on the session and get good work done,” Paulsen said.
“That is what I stayed focused on. The session is now over. As I indicated several months ago once it was over I would go through the review process and that’s what I’m doing now and, absolutely, I’m very seriously considering running.”
Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs might run for governor. “I’m in the same boat that Speaker Paulsen was in. I said to people: ‘Until the session is over, I’m not even going to think about this. I’m going to do my job.’ I don’t want everybody going: ‘Oh, he’s doing this ’cause he’s running for governor. He’s doing that ’cause he’s running,'” Gronstal says.
“I said ‘I’m going to finish this session, get done with this session and then seriously consider it.'” Gronstal considered running for governor in 2006, but decided to remain in the legislature. He’s set a deadline for his 2014 decision.
“I’ll make a decision before the end of the summer,” Gronstal says. Gronstal and Paulsen made their comments during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that airs this evening (Friday) on Iowa Public Television.