On Thursday, U.S. Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo announced that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Tom Harkin.
Because of Harkin??s decision not to run for election in 2014, Democrats are starting to seek out candidates for seats that will be vacated.
For example, Representative Braley is running for Harkin??s seat, which leads to speculation that State Senator Liz Mathis could run for Braley??s congressional seat, leaving Mathis?? seat open in the state senate.
In addition, democrats are starting to search for a viable candidate to run against Governor Terry Branstad, including former Iowa Governor and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Although, speculation may turn to the state senate even more, being that several state senators might be vying for the governor??s mansion.
In Wapello County, local democrats hope that the party picks a candidate that will be viable and have a real chance against Governor Branstad.
??We really struggled. We had, I think, an unpopular candidate (in 2010) on the top of the ticket and I do not know if we got people enthused,?? said Greg Kenning, a member of the Wapello County Democratic Party. ??When that happens, you really, it seems that, you almost have to pry people out of their homes to want to vote.??
Kenning added that democrats all across the state need to find candidates that the public already knows and trusts.
??We have got o find people to fill those positions that have, I suppose you might call it name recognition. We have those candidates certainly. Now will they run for office in 2014? I do not know. So I think that it is our job to try to infuse some of that talent into some of the critical races,?? Kenning said.
Kenning added that because 2014 will be a midterm election, democrats are going to need to keep the ground-game that the party had during both the 2008 and 2012 general elections.