Iowa Religious Conservative Leader Vander Plaats Mulling Senate Bid - the Hill’s Ballot Box
Iowa GOP kingmaker and religious conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats (R) is seriously mulling a Senate bid.
“He would consider looking at it in the middle of October, and decide by the end of the year,” Vander Plaats’s spokesman, Dave Barnett, tells Buzzfeed.
The Iowa Republican primary field is already crowded, with four lesser-known candidates in the race. Vander Plaats has said for months that if no candidate emerged from the pack in fundraising or polling by the end of the September fundraising quarter that he’d be “very open” to running.
“Most of the candidates are largely unknown to Iowans. We’ve just got to let this play out, let the process play out,” he said then. “I’ve been very open. Labor Day we’ll see who’s catching fire, on October 15 we’ll see who’s raising money.”
Vander Plaats has run for office multiple times before, losing the GOP nomination for governor in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Over the years he’s developed a powerful network in the state — he led the successful efforts to remove Iowa Supreme Court justices who’d legalized gay marriage in the state. His endorsements of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) helped both men win Iowa’s presidential caucuses.