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braleys and harkins pic

(Photo courtesy: Bruce Braley Facebook page–the Braleys and the Harkins)

That was quick. Democrat Tom Harkin announced a week-and-a-half ago he wouldn’t run for another term in the U.S. Senate when his fifth term expires in 2014. His party already has a replacement. Bruce Braley said Thursday he wants the job. Voters just re-elected Braley to his fourth term in the U.S. House back in November. But by announcing this early, Braley can scare off any other Democrats who were also thinking about running. Not sure whom those people were, though. Senator Harkin told me Sunday Braley was the only one who contacted him about running. And Thursday afternoon State Party Chair Tyler Olson said he, too, spoke to no other Democrat about the job.

Braley’s announcement will be a drawn-out affair. He broke the news in an email to supporters, followed by Twitter and Facebook messages. His Facebook posts promise future “chats” with supporters with details to be announced “soon”. But as of yet, there are no officials plans for a traditional statewide announcement tour.

Republicans, it sounds like it’s now up to you for your candidate? Congressmen Tom Latham and Steve King remain the two biggest named possibilities. A Latham staffer said Latham and King still haven’t sat down for a talk about their futures, although, they did run into each other at the Iowa State Cyclones men’s basketball game in Ames last Saturday. If both men should run, that could lead to a costly primary for Republicans.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen didn’t deny interest in Braley’s 1st District House seat Thursday. Although, he didn’t confirm interest either. He said, “I’m focused on being speaker of the house right now.” Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix said he isn’t interested in either a U.S. Senate run or a U.S. House. Although, Dix added that redistricting means he doesn’t actually live in the 1st District any more.