Former US Attorney Matt Whitaker announced today that he intends to be a candidate for the US Senate seat being vacated by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and will make the official announcement on June 3. Â He made the announcement today on WHO Radio’s Simon Conway show.
Whitaker is currently the managing partner atÂ Whitaker Hagenow Gustoff LLP. Â HeÂ served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa from 2004 to 2009, and previously worked for two other law firms and SUPERVALU as corporate counsel. Â in 1998, Whitaker graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law and also earned his MBA there.
Matt Whitaker is the first Republican to announce an intention to run for the seat currently held by Harkin. Â Bruce Braley, a Democratic Congressman, has also indicated he will run for the open Senate seat. Â It is expected now that Representative Steve King has declined to run, several other Republican candidates will step forward.
Senator Harkin has been in the US Senate for 28 years, and when he retires will have spent 40 years in Washington DC as a Congressman and Senator. Â Republican opponents to Harkin in 5 US Senate elections have averaged a 12.2 point loss, with the closest to winning being Jim Lightfoot in 1996 (5 points) and the farthest being Chris Reed in 2008 (26 points). Â Tom Harkin has always come across as likable and reasonable to the public, and has always had a substantial war chest when campaigning. Â Running against anyone but Tom Harkin will likely be considered a relief by Republicans in this election.