AP NewsBreak: Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) won't seek 6th Senate term



Oh oh. Republicans are smiling in Iowa today.

CUMMING, Iowa -- Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014.

The 73-year-old Harkin tells The Associated Press in an interview, "It's just time to step aside," because by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81.

Harkin said it would also allow a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.

The announcement comes as a surprise, considering he had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.

Harkin played a lead role in urging the Senate's more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill.

No Iowa Republicans have taken formal steps toward seeking the seat. Harkin's decision eases the burden on the GOP, who have to gain six seats to win the majority.

  • David G

    He will be a loss, but if he adds his support to a liberal leaning Democrat to replace him, he's got the connections to really matter and to help get that Democrat elected... Truth is, it's time for term limits so we get rid of them all after one term -- have them sit out one cycle, then if they really are interested, they can run again... this way we do away with the term and HUGE ADVANTAGE of "INCUMBENT"  next to their name on the ballot.  These career politicians are what's ruining our government, not the system itself.  That can be tweaked.  It's the people who don't seem to remember they are elected to represent us -- not raise money to keep their office and perks.  DG