Pat Murphy tried to roll out a bandwagon this morning, but it seems to be missing a couple wheels.
The Dubuque legislator and former House speaker remains the lone declared Democratic candidate in the 1st CD, which Bruce Braley is vacating for his US Senate run. Some activists - like me - are grumbling that they'd like to see other candidates, especially a strong female candidate, in the race.
Murphy tried to head that off today by releasing a 167 name endorsement list. It's a strategy Braley's been using with his Senate race, with countless releases about organizational backing and an en masse endorsement by 71 of the 73 Democratic legislators (Murphy and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy were the two holdouts.)
The release landed in my spam folder, which may or may not be a bad omen. The most prominen name on the list is former congressman Dave Nagle, and it's sprinkled with former legislators and candidates.
But it's a bit short on Murphy's current colleagues, with only three listed: Roger Thomas, Bruce Bearinger and Mark Smith. Only one current Senator, Brian Schoenjahn. No one from the core Black Hawk, Dubuque or Linn delegations. The old friends seem to be on board, but a lot of legislators are keeping their powder dry, waiting to see who else looks at the race. The latest name in the rumor mill is Senator Jeff Danielson, but I'd still like to see a woman in the race.
Which makes this as good a time as any to close the poll I ran a week ago Sunday:
True, Pat's Good Enough is in first, but way below the 35% convention threshold. Three women were in a tier above the others, one from each of the district's three largest counties: Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque (who's said no) and Representatives Kirsten Running-Marquardt of Cedar Rapids and Anesa Kajtazovic of Waterloo.
But my efforts don't seem to be accomplishing much except perhaps to alienate the guy who at this point, with no other Dems and just third tier Republicans in the race, looks like the next congressman. Or maybe I'm flattering myself to think what I say even matters to Murphy. Don't care. I plan to keep banging this drum till someone steps up or till filing deadline next March.
As for the man who's leaving the seat, Braley appears to have cleared the field -- BOTH the Democratic and Republican field. Sure, Ed Fallon grumbled today about wanting "real primaries," but that train is way out of the station.
Meanwhile, Republican player Doug Gross argued on Iowa Press this past weekend that none of the first-tier contenders - Congressman Steve King, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds or Secretary of AG Bill Northey - will get into the race. And the rumor mill is telling me that current recruiting efforts have sunk all the down to the Area Businessman level. Next stop: Christopher Reed? Even the weakest possible GOP candidate starts out in the low 40s in this race.