Iowa Sen. Joe Seng, D-Davenport, said Thursday he is considering a bid for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd District, a prospect that would put him up against fellow Democrat, incumbent Rep. Dave Loebsack.Senator Doctor Seng, as he likes to call himself, is picking a weird fight here, taking a generalized critique and making it specific to Loebsack. That's not the first time it's happened to Loebsack; judging from the post-map reaction, apparently it was Dave's fault that Iowa has never sent a woman to Congress. It was never Leonard Boswell who was supposed to stand down for Christie Vilsack. Somehow it was always Dave.
Seng said he’s upset at the lack of bipartisan action in Congress, and as a moderate Democrat, he thinks he can make a contribution.
“I’m not real happy with the status quo, the way it’s been,” Seng told the Quad-City Times.
Seng is an anti-abortion Democrat who has served on either the Davenport City Council or in the state Legislature since 1995.
The Vilsack thing, and the fact that he doesn't vote exactly like Dennis Kucinich, have been the biggest criticisms of Loebsack. So a challenge by a male candidate from the right doesn't seem like fertile ground, especially when the GOP has its own primary for the seat attracting any anti-Loebsack vote. Seng's role on the Ag Gag bill didn't exactly endear him to Democratic activists, either.
Seng does have a free shot here, as a mid-term senator. And Scott County is new to Loebsack. But the incumbent has been working The QC so hard that I think he has his own time card at the Rock Island Arsenal.
According to the article, Seng seems to have had this, um, brainstorm just this week, leaving little time before the March 16 filing deadline. The signature bar for US House is, relatively speaking, the highest there is in Iowa, higher than for a statewide run. A 2nd CD Democrat would need 1277, with county requirements on top of that. And a late starter has to get those one at a time, as opposed to Loebsack who had papers out at the caucuses. (UPDATE: And apparently enough as Loebsack filed today.)
So my bet is this doesn't actually happen. But if it does, Loebsack, who's already in a race targeted by both sides, will no doubt get national help. The pre-caucus Obama endorser has friends in literally the highest places. In the end, by floating this idea, Seng's mostly just hurting himself.