You’ve heard of a bench warmer…you know the player whose primary position is the bench. Well, perhaps, Tyler Olson will be the seat warmer for Iowa Democrats. Last month, Democrats chose Olson, a state representative from Cedar Rapids, as their next party chairman. That position comes only with a blessing from the party’s elder and in this case, that is Senator Tom Harkin. Traditionally, that would be a two-year term and a chance for the chair to travel extensively across the state doing voter outreach and fundraising. That could be different this time.
Now that we know 1st District Congressman Bruce Braley will run for senate, attention turns to which Democrat wants to replace Braley. Count Olson among those interested. And he said he and Harkin discussed the possibility when they talked about Olson becoming party chair. Olson told me his talk with Harkin addressed his future, which “may include a run for congress.” Although, the conversation also included Olson running for governor, too. Pretty sure, he won’t do both. But as he seriously looks at both, it could mean he and Harkin will need to have another conversation.