Thursday, March 06, 2008

King Announcing Re-Election To Congress Friday

Chambers, Schulte
now out of race
on Democratic side

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, is expected to announce his candidacy for a fourth term representing Iowa’s Fifth District Friday with events in Sioux City and Council Bluffs.

King, the subject of much speculation about a possible run against U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has not publicly said whether he will seek re-election or move to advance his political career.

But King is circulating petitions for Congress, not the Senate, a clear sign of his intentions.

He will make it official Friday, campaign sources say.

Meanwhile, expected western Iowa Democratic congressional candidates Joyce Schulte and Bob Chambers have both dropped out of the race this week.

The 2006 candidates made announcements in emails to supporters and Iowa Democrats, confirmed Chambers and Carroll County Democratic Party Chairman Butch Heisterkamp.
The absence of Schulte and Chambers for now has cleared the primary field for Rob Hubler of Council Bluffs, a retired Presbyterian minister who has been campaigning for more than a year for a chance to take on King.

For her part, Schulte did not return phone calls.

The Democratic nominee for Congress in Iowa’s Fifth District the past two times, Schulte just weeks ago told the Daily Times Herald she was collecting signatures for a third run she said would happen this year unless some unforeseen circumstance cuts her off at the pass.

“I think you could put it down like that,” Schulte said in an interview.
Heisterkamp said he received an email from Schulte announcing that she had other opportunities and would not run. Heisterkamp said that at a 5th District Democratic meeting in Denison last month many party activists sought to dissuade Schulte from running again.

Schulte, 65, has lost two elections by landslide margins to U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron. In 2006, a weak year for Republicans that even saw the outster of Iowa icon Jim Leach in eastern Iowa, King pulled 58 percent of the vote to Schulte’s 36 percent in the sprawling, 32-county western Iowa district.

Wednesday night, Chambers said, he talked with Schulte personally.

“She called me last night and said she was not going to run either,” Chambers said.
For his part, Chambers cited health reasons.

Chambers, 69, said he was feeling worn down but didn’t want to elaborate on his health.

“I doubt if I ever try this again,” he said of a congressional bid.

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