Latham won't run for U.S. Senate seat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Latham won't run for U.S. Senate seat, leaving door open for King

U.S. Rep. Tom Latham U.S. Rep. Tom Latham

U.S. Rep. Tom Latham says he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat left open by Tom Harkin, leaving the door open for fellow Republican and fourth-district U.S. Rep. Steve King.

In a letter to supporters, Latham laid out his reasoning.

"Only 56 days ago I took an oath to 'faithfully discharge the duties' of an office with which the people of Iowa's Third Congressional District entrusted to me," he wrote. "I cannot in good conscience launch a two-year statewide campaign that will detract from the commitment I made to the people who elected me, at a time when our nation desperately needs less campaigning and more leadership."

The announcement leaves the door open for King, another top name among Iowa Republicans for the U.S. Senate race.

Harkin, a five-term Democratic Senator, announced he would not seek reelection a few months ago.

On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley announced he is running for Harkin's Senate seat, and anticipates it will be one of the biggest races the state of Iowa will see next year.

Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, criticized Latham's decision.

"This is yet another potential candidate in a long line of Republicans who have decided not to face down the extremist elements within their own party," he said. "Regardless of who runs on the Republican ticket, we are focused on supporting our great Democratic candidate, Bruce Braley. Bruce has repeatedly proven himself to be a fighter for middle class families and someone who will always put Iowa first."

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