Former Iowa Gov. and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will not seek to fill Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) seat once he steps down in 2014, the Des Moines Register reported Friday:
“He will not seek the open seat,” Matt Paul, a longtime Vilsack aide, told The Des Moines Register this morning.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, announced in late January that he intends to retire in two years after 40 years in Congress.
The Register’s most recent Iowa Poll stirred up buzz about a possible Senate bid by Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who is now a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet. The poll, released the day Braley announced publicly that he’s running for Harkin’s job, shows 56 percent of Iowans say Vilsack would be an appealing Senate candidate, while 35 percent say he wouldn’t be.