All-Dubuquer Congressional election: It's possible

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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:00 am

Could the 2014 general election for Iowa's 1st Congressional District feature two candidates from the city of Dubuque?

I don't know what the odds are, but it's certainly possible.

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's announcement this past weekend that he will not seek re-election in 2014 sparked statewide speculation about not only who will run for his seat, but who will run for the seats vacated by those who decided to run for the Senate.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who was just elected to his fourth term in Iowa's 1st District, is widely considered the most likely Democratic candidate to run for Harkin's seat. For the purposes of the rest of this post, we will assume Braley does run as expected.

That would create an open race for the 1st District seat.

Who would run?

On the Democratic side, the name of Iowa Sen. President Pam Jochum of Dubuque comes up often. On Saturday, just hours after Harkin's announcement, the Telegraph Herald asked Jochum about a possible Congressional run and she left the door open to the possibility.

What about on the Republican side?

One name to consider is another Dubuquer, Rod Blum, who ran in the 2012 primary for the 1st District. Blum lost to Ben Lange, but created a name for himself and performed well in the primary despite his defeat.

So there it is: the possibility that in 2014 we could have two Dubuquers, Pam Jochum and Rod Blum, running against each other for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Wouldn't that be something?

Of course, that's only one of many possibilities. While she is open to the idea of a Congressional run, Jochum said she is also enjoying serving as Iowa Senate President. It is no lock she would run for Congress.

Neither is there any guarantee Blum would run, although he did keep his options open after losing last summer's primary. (The TH has not interviewed Blum since Harkin's announcement.)

Or with Braley out of the way, perhaps Lange - who lost to Braley in the 2010 and 2012 general elections - would decide to take another crack at the 1st District seat. That would possibly set up a primary rematch between Lange and Blum.

And of course there's Step 1 to consider, and maybe Braley will decide he's comfortable in the House and will not run for the Senate.

Still, even just the possibility of an all-Dubuque race for Iowa's 1st Congressional District is intriguing for those of us in the Key City. We shall see.

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