Breaking News: Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack and her husband, Tom, are making the move to Ames. The word comes from Matt Paul, a spokesman for the Vilsack family. Vilsack is a native of Mt. Pleasant in the 2nd District, where she and her husband used to own a home. The Vilsacks currently rent a condo in Des Moines in the 3rd District. But fellow Democrats complicate her options of running in either of those districts. The new district boundaries, signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad today, meant current 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack’s residence no longer fell in the new 2nd District. But Loebsack has already announced he would move to a new residence so he could run for re-election. Congressman Leonard Boswell already represents the 3rd District. So instead of causing party complications, Vilsack is moving into the 4th District. Paul will not confirm Vilsack is about to announce her intentions to run in the 4th District. But running in the 4th would put her up against Republican Congressman Steve King. King represents the 5th District. But redistricting eliminates that district and puts King’s residence in the new 4th District.
This will be Vilsack’s first run for elected office. She considered running for U.S. Senate against longtime Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley in 2010. But she gave way to former Democratic candidate for governor, Roxanne Conlin, who later failed to make the contest close.
Here’s the story I did earlier in the day where Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said Vilsack would be a “fish out of water” if she moved to the 4th District. The story also shows Vilsack’s husband, Tom’s, reaction when we tried to get him to talk about his wife’s plans.