The Republican primary in the 1st Congressional District pits two candidates who have sought the Republican nomination before, businessmen Rod Blum of Dubuque and Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids, against State Representative Walt Rogers from Waterloo.
The three way contest has been rather quiet. The biggest development in the race occurred in October when Rogers enterd the race. Many people expected another candidate from Cedar Rapids to emmerge last fall, but it never materlized. The sleepy primary is beginning to heat up now that Rathje is beginning to advertize on radio.
Rathje is a somewhat forgotten man in the Republican primary. He finished second to Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks in the 2nd District Congressional Republican primary in 2010. Rathje’s second place finish was due in large part to his strenght in Linn County. In that cycle, three Republican candidates hailed from Linn County. This time around, Rathje is the only candidate from the largest county in the 1st Congressional District.
Rob Blum, who unsucessfully sought the Republican 1st District nomination in 2012, has been considered the frontrunner in the race. Blum’s campaign got off to a good start, but he has done little to solidify that standing in recent months. Last week, Blum received an endorsement from Steve Forbes. The campaign provided reporters an audio file of Forbes talking about Blum that is sure to be a radio ad at some point in the campaign.
Rathje’s radio ad not only reminds voters that he is indeed serious about his congressional campaign, but it also introduces himself in a positive light as Republican activists begin to engage with political campaigns in advance of the June primary. The 1st District Republican primary is a wide open contest. Rathje’s ability to begin advertising now should help his campaign build momentum as the primary nears.
Below is the press release from the Rathje campaign:
Rathje Takes Message to Voters With Major Push in January
For immediate release. Contact: Steve Rathje, 800-670-5716
Cedar Rapids – Steve Rathje, candidate for Congress in Iowa’s First Congressional District, is taking his message directly to voters on AM radio.
“I believe voters are ready to elect a candidate with business management experience with real solutions. I’ve spent the last twenty years in-sourcing jobs, bringing manufacturing home. That’s a message voters are ready for,” said Rathje.
Rathje, a Republican from Cedar Rapids, is seeking the Republican nomination for the Congressional seat left vacant when Bruce Braley announced his candidacy for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat.
The radio buy will run more than 100 times in Northeast Iowa over the next 30 days. As voters prepare to attend the Iowa caucuses in a couple weeks, Rathje’s campaign is equipping voters with important information about his candidacy.
The ad, titled ‘Win Here’ promotes the message that American workers can compete and win in a world economy when the government gets out of the way and allows American business to succeed. In the ad, Rathje says:
“My 6-tier job-creation plan empowers job-creators with the means to invest in new machinery and technology and create as many as 5 million new jobs. Let’s get big government out of the way and replace their political rhetoric with real solutions.”
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