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GOVERNOR’S RACE: Gronstal, Jochum Say ‘No’

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The two top Democrats in the Iowa legislature, senators Mike Gronstal and Pam Jochum, both say they won’t run for governor in 2014.

Sen. Gronstal made his announcement Monday night in Council Bluffs. He says his goal is to maintain the Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate — not run for governor.

A statement from Sen. Gronstal says, “Because of the lack of leadership and accomplishment by the current Governor, this decision was not an easy one to make.”

He goes on to say he’s optimistic that Democrats have an excellent chance to regain the governorship in 2014.

Iowa Senate President Pam Jochum told the Des Moines Register Tuesday morning she would not run for governor either.

Back in February, Sen. Jochum answered a few questions from Channel 13’s Dan Winters during a Three Minutes in the Chair segment.

At the time she was considering a run.

“You know, I have been asked to run by many different people, and I told them I will think about it, and we’ll make a decision this summer but I really like what I’m doing right now,” said Sen. Jochum.

Democrats Tyler Olson and Bob Lrause have formally announced they are in the race. Jack Hatch is considering a run and Republican Terry Branstad has hinted at running for re-election and has already formed a committee.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Tyler Olson said, “Pam Jochum has been a tireless advocate for working and middle class Iowans. I was proud to work with her as she helped lead the fight to provide health care to 150,000 Iowans earlier this year. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her role Senate President as we begin to lay the groundwork for the next 30 years.”