Iowa state Rep. Pat Murphy announced Wednesday that he will seek the 1st District seat, becoming the first Democrat to jump in to what will likely to be a crowded and competitive open-seat race.
The House seat opened last week after Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley announced his intention to vie for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. The Democratic-leaning district in northeastern Iowa is anchored by Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo.
Murphy, who was raised and still lives in Dubuque, has served in the state legislature for more than two decades, including as speaker from 2007 to 2011.
“Senator Harkin and Congressman Braley have championed middle class families," Murphy said in a statement. "I’ve spent my career fighting for those families. I’m running to continue that fight in Congress."
There are several other potential Democratic candidates for this seat, including state Sens. Liz Mathis and Pam Jochum and state Rep. Tyler Olson, who was chosen last month as state party chairman.
Possible GOP candidates include Ben Lange, the GOP nominee against Braley in the past two cycles, businessman Rod Blum, who lost a close primary race with Lange last year, and former Cedar Rapids Mayor Paul Pate.