CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs has announced he will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014.

"My No. 1 goal in 2014 is to maintain the Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate, not run for governor," Gronstal said in a statement released this morning.

However, he believes that because of what he called Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's poor record, Democrats have a good chance to win the office next year. Branstad has not said he will seek a sixth term, but the incumbent has been raising money and hiring campaign staff.

In explaining his decisions, Gronstal said that for the past 17 years, as both the minority and majority leader of the Iowa Senate, "I have had the honor and privilege of leading an amazing and diverse group of Democratic senators. We all have worked on a list of accomplishments that have helped make Iowa a better place to work, live and raise a family.

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"Because of the lack of leadership and accomplishment by the current governor, this decision was not an easy one to make," he added. "Branstad has failed to keep the promises he made to Iowa voters during the 2010 campaign. Most important, Gov. Branstad has failed miserably in his efforts to boost job-creation efforts across the state because he has focused his efforts on luring mega-corporations to Iowa and dismantling the state's network for services that had been provided to jobless Iowans.

"Because of Gov. Branstad's poor leadership and lack of results, I am optimistic that Democrats have an excellent chance to regain the governorship in 2014." 

Democrats seeking the nomination include Rep. Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids, Sen. Jack Hatch and former legislator Bob Krause, both of Des Moines.