- Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A conservative Republican who owns a construction company is entering the race for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Tom Latham.

Robert Cramer announced Friday that he will seek the congressional seat. The 46-year-old from Johnston has long been involved in conservative causes, including serving on the board of the Family Leader.

Last year, Gov. Terry Branstad nominated Cramer to serve on the Board of Regents. But Senate Democrats did not confirm the nomination, raising questions about his conservative views.

Cramer is president of Cramer and Associates, a bridge construction company based in Grimes.

Latham announced last month his plans to retire after finishing his 10th term. Several other candidates have already announced plans to run in the GOP primary race for the seat.