Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds wouldn’t challenge King in Senate primary

February 28, 2013

A spokesman for Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said Thursday that she would not run against Rep. Steve King (R) in the Iowa Senate primary, but that she is considering running for the seat if King doesn't.

"She's on a trade mission to Vietnam and the Philippines right now, and will begin discussions on a U.S. Senate run when she returns," said Reynolds spokesman Tim Albrecht. "She will speak with Congressman King as a part of those discussions. She and Congressman King have been friends for quite some time, and she would not enter a primary with him."

Another Iowa Republican, granted anonymity to discuss the matter candidly, said Reynolds is surprisingly serious about running.


Rep. Steve King (Cliff Owen/AP)

"I've talked to one person in her world who was surprised that she will look at it closely," the Republican said.

As I noted on The Fix yesterday, King is a heavy favorite in the GOP primary if he runs. King has said that he's more likely than not to run, but he put out a cautious statement Thursday after Latham's decision went public. And some Iowa Republicans are suggesting King may not want to risk his House seat for a tough Senate campaign, especially since he's already built a pretty prominent platform to push for his issues in the House.

But many top Republicans are nervous about King being too outspoken and conservative, and they had hoped that Latham — or someone like Reynolds — would run against King in the primary.

Now their best option appears to be hoping that King doesn't run. If he doesn't, Reynolds is probably next in line.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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