The leader of the Webster County Republican Party described Wednesday's announcement by U.S. Rep. Tom Latham as ''kind of a mixed emotion deal.''
Chris McGonegle, the local party chairman, said he was happy to see the Republican lawmaker from Clive stay in the House of Representatives. He said Latham very effectively represented Fort Dodge and Webster County for 18 years before moving to the Des Moines area after reapportionment placed him in the same district with U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron. McGonegle said he believes Latham will be just as effective in his new district.
However, he said he would love to see Latham ''go to the next level.''
''We'll still have him and that's what's more important,'' McGonegle said.
King is considered a potential candidate for the Senate seat to be vacated by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat. McGonegle said King hasn't told local Republicans if he has decided to run for the Senate.
In a written statement issued late Wednesday, King said he is still pondering a Senate run.
''A potential Senate race remains an analytical decision first and then one that requires deep conviction,'' he said. ''Such a decision includes, of course, my family and the best interests of Iowans and Americans. It is too big a decision to be rushed.''