Former congressional candidate Ben Lange today announced the formation of a 2012 congressional exploratory committee in Iowa’s new 1st congressional district. Lange released the following statement:
Over the past several months, I have been humbled by the encouragement from Iowans all across the political spectrum. A question I have been frequently asked is: “Ben, will you consider running for Congress again?”
Today I am answering this question in the affirmative by establishing a 2012 congressional exploratory committee in Iowa’s new 1st congressional district. The purpose of this committee is to determine, among other things, whether sufficient numbers of Iowans are willing to invest their time, energy, and resources to finish the job we started last cycle.
My initial decision to run for congress was influenced by the trajectory of our country towards higher unemployment, a shriveling economy, dramatically more federal control over our lives, and the impact this would have on my two (now three) little girls.
I was concerned that the policies advocated by President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Bruce Braley would do little to stem the financial problems we are facing and would instead cause sustained harm to our economic future and our way of life. Mounting evidence suggests my original concerns were well-founded and nothing has changed my belief that Iowans deserve better.
My decision to establish an exploratory committee should indicate to Iowans of all stripes that my family and I are again willing to make the sacrifices in our personal and professional lives to finish the job we started last cycle, but I am going to need your help.
Removing entrenched politicians is never easy. And over the next several weeks, I will be making a determination of whether the people of Iowa are serious about the 1st congressional district and whether they are willing to invest sufficient resources to win in 2012.
To demonstrate your commitment to this race, please visit www.langeforcongress.com and make a contribution of $20.12 to show your support. We have unfinished business in Iowa’s 1st congressional district and, together, I believe we could send Bruce Braley home for good.
Ben Lange, a first-time candidate last cycle who pledged to put principle before party, gained national attention in 2010 when he shocked political insiders by nearly knocking off Rep. Bruce Braley in Iowa’s 1st congressional district, a feat previously thought impossible.
Lange fell short by less than two percentage points (46.52% to 48.47%), holding Braley under 50% of total votes cast despite Lange’s campaign committee being outspent nearly five to one. Third party candidates had a significant impact on the outcome of the election, taking nearly three percentage points.
Lange outperformed all other Republican congressional challengers in Iowa with less media attention and, unlike other challengers, without financial backing from the National Republican Congressional Committee. Outside groups, which candidates are legally prohibited from directing or communicating with, ran ads against both Lange and Braley.
Since the election, Braley has lost his seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Cedar Rapids Gazette has previously reported that “[m]any 1st District Republicans [have been] encouraging Lange to challenge Braley again in 2012.”
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