Bill Northey Passes on Iowa Race #IASEN

Northey, left, will not run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another potential GOP candidate for Iowa's open Senate seat has announced he will not run, leaving Republicans to continue their search for a strong prospect to run in this top pick-up opportunity.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey became the second Republican in as many weeks to decide not to run. The party continues to await a decision from Republican Rep. Steve King, who remains undecided about the race.

Some Republicans are concerned about a potential King candidacy, arguing that his conservative politics do not have enough statewide appeal to win. But Northey encouraged King to run in his statement about the race:

"Congressman Steve King has been a strong conservative leader in Washington and would serve our state well in the Senate," Northey said. "Should he decide to run, he would have my full support. If he decides against running, our state is fortunate to have many qualified and exciting candidates and I look forward to working with our party’s nominee to win this important election."

GOP Gov. Terry E. Branstad has reiterated on a few occasions that he would not run. Another potential Republican recruit, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, officially took her name out of the running last week.