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Iowa House Speaker Paulsen will not run for 1st District seat

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 12:00 am

Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen has decided he will not run for Congress in Iowa's 1st District.

Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, announced in an email to supporters Wednesday that he instead will remain in the Iowa House and run for re-election in 2014. He had considered a run for Congress since the end of the 2013 legislative session in late May.

Paulsen's decision leaves two Republicans in the 1st District race: businessmen Rod Blum, of Dubuque, and Steve Rathje, of Cedar Rapids.

Four Democrats are running: longtime state legislator Pat Murphy, of Dubuque; Cedar Rapids City Council Member Monica Vernon; Cedar Rapids attorney Dave O'Brien; and former state legislator and state utilities board member Swati Dandekar, of Marion.

Iowa's 1st District seat in the U.S. House will be open in 2014 while incumbent Bruce Braley runs for a U.S. Senate seat.

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