Iowa Businessman Mark Jacobs will enter the open-seat Iowa Senate race next week, according to a local news outlet, making him the seventh Republican to join a crowded GOP field.
Jacobs, who has been exploring a bid for the seat since June, will make the announcement Nov. 19 at a series of events across the state.
Jacobs joins David Young, a former aide to GOP Sen. Charles E. Grassley, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa Matt Whitaker, radio host Sam Clovis, state Sen. Joni Ernst, attorney Paul Lunde and veteran Scott Schaben in the contest.
Local Republican operatives fear the crowded GOP field will force the primary to proceed to a nominating convention, at which a host of delegates to the state party will ultimately choose the nominee. Hardline conservatives often prevail at a nominating convention — a prospect that makes Republicans nervous about their future nominee in this swing state.
The Republican nominee will face likely Democratic nominee Rep. Bruce Braley, who has raised a significant amount of money since announcing his bid.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is retiring, creating the open-seat race.
The Iowa Senate race is rated a Lean Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.