Updated 5:48 p.m., 6:55 p.m., 7:56 p.m. | Iowa Republican Rep. Tom Latham, a top ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, became the third member of Congress to announce his retirement on Tuesday.
"I want to share with you my decision that I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014," Latham wrote in an email to his supporters.His departure sets up a highly competitive open-seat race for Iowa's 3rd District. In 2012, President Barack Obama carried the Des-Moines based district by four points — meanwhile, Latham defeated Rep. Leonard Boswell, a Democrat, by an 8-point margin.
Earlier this year, former state Sen. Staci Appel announced her challenge to Latham. But a Democratic source familiar with Iowa said additional candidates will take a look at the seat in lieu of Latham's departure: Earlham Mayor Dusky Terry, Dr. Andrea McGuire, a former candidate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Janet Peterson, and state Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal.
A GOP operative close to Secretary of State Matt Schultz said he would give it serious consideration, noting the Republican lives in the district and is well liked by the state's conservative base.
In the Iowa edition of the Farm Team series, Roll Call reported that former Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn, state Rep. Peter Cownie from Polk County and state Sen. Jack Whitver are potential GOP successors to Latham on the ballot.
National Republican operatives also point to West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer as a potential recruit.
Updated 7:56 p.m. | Schultz confirmed his interest in running for Latham's seat.
“I have represented part of the district as a city councilman and now as Iowa’s Secretary of State," Schultz said in a statement. "I am seriously considering running for Congress however that’s a decision I will make in the next couple weeks. Now is a time to thank Congressman Latham for his service. I want to thank him for everything he has done for the state of Iowa."
Shira T. Center contributed to this report.