Iowa: Latham Downplays Campaign Committee Name Change

Latham is mulling a 2014 Senate bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, confirmed Monday that he is continuing to consider running for Senate in 2014, but he said not to read too much into a decision to change the name of his campaign committee.

As first reported by Rothenberg Political Report, “Latham for Congress” was set to become “Iowans for Latham.” The GOP congressman acknowledged the change, although he said it was to reflect that his 3rd District, post-2010 redistricting, encompasses a broad swath in the battleground state.

“I thought that since we represented a lot of the state, that they just change the name of the committee. It doesn’t have any ramifications beyond that,” Latham told reporters, regarding the change of the name of his campaign committee. “We haven’t made any decision yet.”

If Latham runs for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, he could face a primary contest with Rep. Steve King, a conservative stalwart. King led a field of potential GOP candidates, including Latham, in a new poll.

Latham indicated that he and King have spoken about a potential primary battle but declined to offer details. He said they saw each other the night of Feb. 2 at the Iowa State University versus Baylor University basketball game but acknowledged they did not have an “in depth” discussion about the Senate race.

Latham said the two would talk more about it at some point, but that whether King runs for Senate would have no bearing on his decision.

“I think he’s a very viable member of Congress. I’m just going to worry about what I do, that’s all I can control,” Latham said.

Latham, a close ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is considered more mainstream in his appeal with voters than King, who has long enjoyed the support of conservative activists.