Attorney Ben Lange (R) used Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley’s not-so-secret statewide ambitions in his uphill campaign against the three-term Congressman.
“Folks in Iowa are investing in our race because they know it’s a cost-effective investment for them because Bruce wants to run statewide for governor or Senator next cycle,” Lange said in a Monday interview.
House Republicans plan to target the northeastern Iowa district, but Braley is favored to win re-election. The 1st district is the state’s most Democratic House seat.
Hawkeye State Democrats have openly speculated about Braley’s political future — such as challenging Gov. Terry Branstad (R) in 2014 or seeking the seat of Sen. Tom Harkin (D) if he retires. Last September, Braley confirmed to the Associated Press that he wanted to develop his statewide influence.
Braley’s senior adviser, Molly Scherrman, responded to Lange’s attack by saying the Congressman is “focused” on representing Iowans in the House.
“It sounds like Ben Lange is more specific about his own plans for future campaigns than he is about his plans right now for getting our economy moving or safeguarding Social Security and Medicare for future generations,” Scherrman said.