By Tricia Miller, Roll Call
In a high-stakes game of musical chairs, all five members of Iowaâ€™s House delegation plan to run for re-election in 2012, but the Hawkeye State will send only four of them to Congress following the next election. Reapportionment from the 2010 Census translates to a one-seat loss for Iowa, which means someone will be the odd Member out.
Rep. Leonard Boswell, the oldest member of Iowaâ€™s House delegation by 14 years, was thought to be considering retirement, making it easier for the other Members. But Boswell told Roll Call he will seek re-election, saying that preparing to run in a not-yet-drawn district is no different from his previous races.
National Republicans have frequently targeted the Des Moines-area Democrat since he was elected to the House in 1996, one reason he is preparing early â€” Boswell declared on election night that he would be on the ballot in 2012.
â€œWe could speculate â€™til the sun goes down, and itâ€™d be all speculation, so Iâ€™ll just wait and see,â€ he said in an interview Wednesday before being sworn in for an eighth term. â€œI just keep doing what I do. We work our tail off to do good constituent service, being available to people, continue to work on whateverâ€™s out there that their concern is, keep a lot of face time with them.â€
Though all five Iowa incumbents survived 2010 in good shape, 2012 may bring their toughest test yet. Members have no influence over the stateâ€™s nonpartisan redistricting process and wonâ€™t have the option of running for Senate or governor since those offices wonâ€™t be up for election until 2014.
Any of the Members could end up in a primary or general election against another incumbent. The two Republicans, Reps. Tom Latham and Steve King, can expect a boost from presidential contenders coming to the heartland for the first-in-the-nation caucus.
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