Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz and State Sen. Joni Ernst are among the prominent Republicans with western Iowa connections considering a run for the U.S. Senate.
On Tuesday, Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who had been courted by the GOP's national Senate campaign organization, announced she would not run for the seat, which is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat.
Schultz said his decision depends on whether another western Iowan, U.S. Rep. Steve King, decides to run.
“My family and I are looking at it,” Schultz said. “Obviously, we're waiting to see what Steve King is going to do. … My family and I are definitely seriously considering it.”
King, an outspoken conservative, told The World Herald earlier this week that he is inching closer to a decision but that he's still not there.
“I sure don't like being on the bubble here, but that's how it is,” said King, R-Kiron. “It's a big decision. There are a couple of components that aren't where they need to be.”
Schultz served as a Council Bluffs city councilman for five years before being elected secretary of state in 2010.
Schultz's comments Thursday followed an announcement posted on Facebook by Ernst that she may get into the mix.
“I will be considering a run for U.S. Senate,” a statement on the social media site said. “I am humbled by those that have asked me to consider this great opportunity … thank you!”
Ernst served as the Montgomery County auditor for six years before winning a special election to the Iowa Senate in January 2011. She replaced Reynolds, whom Gov. Terry Branstad chose in 2010 as his running mate.
Rep. Tom Latham, R-Clive, who was seen as a top contender but quickly took himself out of the conversation, told The World-Herald this week that despite some Iowans encouraging him to take another look at the race, he still isn't interested.
Also weighing a Senate run is Bill Northey, the Iowa secretary of agriculture, who hails from Spirit Lake.
World-Herald staff writer Joseph Morton contributed to this report.
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