Dubuque candidates will square off in 1st Congressional District - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque candidates will square off in 1st Congressional District race

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Rep. Pat Murphy (D-Dubuque) shakes hands outside his watch party Tuesday night in Dubuque Rep. Pat Murphy (D-Dubuque) shakes hands outside his watch party Tuesday night in Dubuque
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Two Dubuque candidates - Democratic state representative Pat Murphy and Republican businessman Rod Blum - will square off in November for Iowa's First Congressional District seat.

Three Republicans ran for the nomination to replace Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who is running for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's seat.

Blum beat out two opponents Tuesday night to win the Republican nomination with 55 percent of the vote. Steve Rathje came in second place with 37 percent of the vote.

Both Blum and Murphy had to win at least 35 percent of their party's votes in order to win the nomination Tuesday night. If they didn't, the race would've been decided later, at their respective parties' state conventions.

Pat Murphy faced four other Democrats in his bid and narrowly won, with 37 percent of the vote.

Murphy entered his watch party just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, at Salsa's Mexican Restaurant in downtown Dubuque, to the jubilant cheers of dozens of his supporters. By then, the race had already been called in Murphy's favor.

Murphy is a long-time state representative, representing his hometown of Dubuque in the statehouse for nearly a quarter-century, including four years as Iowa's House Democratic Minority Leader and then four years as Speaker of the House.

Even though Murphy will face a fellow Dubuque candidate in Republican Rod Blum, Murphy said Tuesday night he'll focus on the issues and not on his opponent.

"We need to raise that minimum wage to $10.10 an hour," he told a gaggle of news reporters in an impromptu media conference outside Salsa's Tuesday night. "We need to make sure that we also focus on women in the workplace. If they're only earning 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, we need to make that fair. But along with that, we need to make sure we focus on middle class families. We need to protect the social safety net."

Even though election results may not have been as strong for Murphy in Linn and Black Hawk counties as they were in Dubuque County, Murphy said he's a candidate for the entire district - not just for Dubuque.

For coverage of Blum's watch party, click HERE: http://www.kwwl.com/story/25687426/2014/06/04/rod-blum-wins-1st-congressional-district-gop-race

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