DES MOINES (AP) — Democratic State Rep. Pat Murphy said Wednesday that he’s running for the Iowa congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Bruce Braley’s run for Senate.
Murphy, from Dubuque, announced he would run in next year’s election for the 1st Congressional District, which covers the northeastern part of the state. Murphy has served in the Iowa House since 1989, and he led the chamber as speaker from 2007 to 2011.
Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, said last week that he would run for Senate after longtime Sen. Tom Harkin announced he would retire at the end of his current term. Harkin’s retirement after 30 years in Congress will likely set in course more political movement than Iowa has seen in decades.
During Murphy’s time leading the Iowa House, the Legislature approved legislation to expand preschool and increase the minimum wage in Iowa.
“I have a pretty strong record for fighting for middle-class families,” Murphy said, adding that he would focus on issues such as jobs, education and health care.
Two other Democrats, State Sen. Liz Mathis and State Rep. Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids, have said they’re looking into running but haven’t officially announced plans.
Fewer Republican names have surfaced, though House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha has not ruled out a run. Attorney Ben Lange, a Republican who challenged Braley in 2010 and 2012, issued an email statement that did not indicate whether he was considering a run but said he was currently enjoying his life with his family in rural Iowa.
Murphy said he has not sought Braley’s endorsement, but he has been reaching out to activists throughout the district and called the response encouraging.