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CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa state Sen. Tim Kapucian is honored to be among those mentioned as possible successors to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, but the Benton County Republican is not actively pursuing an appointment to that office.

“Whenever there’s a situation like this, it creates fertile ground for a lot of speculation,” said Kapucian, a grain and livestock farmer.

Gov. Kim Reynolds will appoint a successor to Northey if his nomination by President Donald Trump to be an undersecretary at the USDA is confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Kapucian is among the names mentioned as possible replacements. Others include former Iowa House member Annette Sweeney of Alden, Sen. Dan Zumbach of Ryan and Rep. Pat Grassley of New Hartford.

Kapucian is in his second term in the Iowa Senate. He heads the Transportation Commission and sits on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committees.

Reynolds has well-qualified people to choose from, Kapucian said.

“The main thing is to get someone who can carry on — try to carry on — in the same vein as Secretary Northey,” he said. “It will be tough to fill his shoes.”

He hopes Reynolds appoints someone whose name “is synonymous with agriculture. When you hear the person’s name, you need to think agriculture.”

“We’ve always had a farmer or someone farm-related in that office, and I hope it stays that way,” Kapucian said.

Since the position was created 45 years ago, Iowa has had four secretaries of agriculture: Republican Robert Lounsberry for 24 years; Democrat Dale Cochran for 12 years; Democrat Patty Judge for eight years; and Northey since 2007.