Iowa congressman Bruce Braley told supporters in an email that he was "ready to go" and is forming a committee to run for the U.S. Senate. Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is hoping to succeed retiring Democrat Tom Harkin and is the first major candidate to announce his intention to run for the seat since Harkin said in January he would not seek reelection. The Quad-City Times has more on Braley's announcement:
Braley is sending the news in an email today, saying it’s a “big responsibility” to try to fill Harkin’s shoes.
“But if you are willing to help me, I’m ready to go,” he said in the email, which was obtained by the Quad-City Times.
The announcement comes about two weeks after Harkin shocked Iowans by announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election in 2014. Since then, Braley, who has long been rumored to be interested in the Senate, has been exploring a potential bid.
Jeff Link, a senior adviser, said today Braley will begin raising money immediately and he will be reaching out to Iowans to talk about veterans and small business issues and middle-class tax cuts. A more formal announcement will come “down the road,” Link said.
In the email, Braley said he would kick off a series of conversations with a Facebook chat in the next few weeks. Link said the conversations would extend for several months.
Braley was first elected to the House in 2006. Among the Republicans who may run for the seat are Braley's fellow congressman Steve King, who hails from the more conservative western part of the state.