U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, is wasting no time. The three-term Democrat announced this morning he'll run for re-election in the 2nd congressional district. The announcement came just moments after the state legislature approved the newly redrawn boundaries.
Loebsack says he will move to Johnson County, avoiding a potential primary against Rep. Bruce Braley, the 1st district congressman. Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't signed off on the new maps, but the congressman said in his email that he anticipated that would happen.
Loebsack already made clear the day the proposed maps were released that he intended to run in the 2nd district. But this quick announcement today comes amid speculation he might face a primary challenge from former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack.
Vilsack has expressed an interest in running for office, and her Mount Pleasant home is in the district. She also could run in the 3rd or 4th district.
The new 24-county 2nd district includes 14 counties Loebsack already has represented. Scott County is in the new 2nd.
In making his announcement, Loebsack took aim at congressional Republicans and called himself a "strong progressive" who was an early supporter of President Barack Obama.
“Now more than ever, we must stand together - fighting against a Republican Congress that seeks to undermine all the progress we have made in recent years," he said in the email. "If they had their way, they'd jeopardize seniors' hard-earned health care and privatize Medicare, while giving special tax breaks to oil and insurance companies. I'll never stop fighting for what's right - putting Iowa's interests ahead of the special interests.”
He also cited his work on the 2008 floods.
Loebsack, a college professor before being elected in 2006, will be in the Quad-Cities next month for a fundraiser, where Braley and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, are the featured speakers.