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The Conservative Reader:

bill northey 2It appears the allure of having your name on every fuel pump in Iowa has proved to be too much for Bill Northey to give up.

Today Mr. Northey officially removed himself from the potential candidate pool.  Though many speculated, few insiders ever saw him making a run as probable.  I have seen him speak at several political events and he seems like a genuinely nice guy.  Having said that, the perceived strength of his candidacy that many shared was somewhat surprising to me.  Though Bruce Braley is certainly beatable, it is going to take a bold candidate capable of stirring up some real passion to pull it off.  I am not certain this would have been a strength for him, and I could be wrong but I am unconvinced he would have been able to switch a large number of Democrats involved in the Ag business.

The way I look at the map, a successful candidate on the Republican side is going to have to at least compete with Braley in the urban areas.  If not, the margin of victory in the rural counties would have to be massive to overcome it–and likely not possible.  Even though he has opted not to run, Mr. Northey is a class act and will be a valuable commodity on the trail for our eventual nominee.

As of right now the short list of remaining potential candidates is– Steve King, Matt Whitaker, Matt Schultz, Joni Ernst, and Rod Roberts.

Below is the Bill Northey statement released earlier today:

After talking with my family and thoughtful consideration, I have decided that I will not seek the nomination for our open U.S. Senate seat.  I am humbled to have heard so many kind words from Iowans encouraging me to run.  Our state and nation are facing great challenges and we need strong leaders in Washington, but we also need strong leaders here in Iowa.  I feel at this time I can be more effective serving Iowans as Secretary of Agriculture rather than engaging in a Senate campaign.
Congressman Steve King has been a strong conservative leader in Washington and would serve our state well in the Senate.  Should he decide to run, he would have my full support.  If he decides against running, our state is fortunate to have many qualified and exciting candidates and I look forward to working with our party’s nominee to win this important election.
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