News Center

December 30th, 2013

Brad Zaun Preparing Another Congressional Bid; Whitver Strongly Considering

Iowa State Senator Brad Zaun is preparing to announce another bid for Congress, sources close to Zaun tell Zaun was the Republican nominee for Iowa’s Third Congressional District seat in 2010. The Urbandale native emerged from a crowded GOP primary field, but eventually lost to incumbent Leonard Boswell in a bitter general election battle.

Last week, Zaun announced on his personal and “Zaun for Congress” Facebook pages that an announcement was pending after the New Year. “I hope each of you had a great Christmas! I will have some big news to announce after the first of the year and I look forward to sharing it with my supporters and friends first,” Zaun wrote.

Those posts set off a large amount of speculation about Zaun’s pending announcement. Sunday night, sources confirmed he is indeed laying the groundwork for another congressional bid. Brad Zaun is not up for reelection in 2014, so he could safely run for Congress and maintain his Iowa Senate seat if he does not emerge victorious.

Zaun is far from the only Republican official mulling a bid. Within hours of Tom Latham announcing his plans to retire from the U.S. Congress next year, a slew of Republican office holders expressed interest in running for the soon-to-be open seat. Many of those are current state senators.

However, the recent announcement by State Senator Rick Bertrand to step down as minority whip in order to focus on his own reelection might have an impact on the decision-making of his colleagues.

“Since Congressman Latham’s announcement, I have spent a lot of time praying and talking to my wife about whether to run. This is a big decision for any family and I am going through the process of talking with friends, family and donors on whether this is the right thing to do,” Sen. Jack Whitver told

Whitver was considering announcing an exploratory committee for the congressional seat this week, although he was still 50/50 in terms of actually running. Bertrand’s decision to step down as minority whip might entice Whitver to run for the senate leadership position instead. Iowa Senate Republicans will decide on Bertrand’s replacement January 7, so whoever hopes to fill that role needs to make a decision within the next few days.

Sen. Whitver is also up for reelection in 2014. Unlike Zaun, he would have to sacrifice his senate seat in order to run for Congress.

“I understand that a decision must be made very quickly and expect to make a decision soon,” Whitver said. “There are so many things to consider: my young family, commuting to DC, a dysfunctional Congress, the fact that I up for election this year in the Senate, and whether I can win the Congressional race.”

Freshman State Senators Jake Chapman and Charles Schneider have also expressed interest in running. They are not up for reelection next year. Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is also strongly considering a bid for Iowa’s Third Congressional District seat.

Photo by Dave Davidson, 

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

blog comments powered by Disqus