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Iowa Senate seat up for grabs as GOP Rep. Tom Latham declines run

- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rep. Tom Latham, Iowa Republican, said he won't seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin after all.

Mr. Latham is a 10-term congressman who was widely thought to be a solid candidate for the retiring Mr. Harkin's slot, The Associated Press reported. He announced Wednesday, however, he could not "in good conscience launch a two-year statewide campaign that will detract from the commitment" he made to constituents to fulfill his congressional duties back in November.

Iowa Republicans, including Gov. Terry Branstad, had hit hard for Mr. Latham to run, AP reported.

His decision opens the door to Rep. Steve King, however, AP reports. Mr. King, a strong conservative, said previously he was interested in the Senate seat — but not so much in a primary fight with Mr. Latham.

On Wednesday, Mr. King hadn't yet settled on his next move.

"It's too big a decision to be rushed," he said in the AP report.

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