Iowa conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats noted that he was asked this week whether he would run for the Senate in 2014 against Sen. Tom Harkin (D). Per the Sioux City Journal:
"I think about it daily. That doesn't mean I'm going to run against him, OK. I don't know. Our goal is to build The Family Leader right now, and I'd like that to be my long-term vision," Vander Plaats said.
Vander Plaats has run for governor 3 times, most recently in 2010, when he lost in the primary to Gov. Terry Branstad (R). His profile is likely to be raised in the next few months as the GOP presidential race kicks into gear in Iowa and his conservative group "The Family Leader" hosts its presidential lecture series. But how that will translate -- and what his intentions will be -- in 2014 remains to be seen.
Something similar is happening in New Hampshire, with conservative activist Ovide Lamontagne -- who lost by a very slim margin in the 2010 GOP Senate primary to now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) -- already playing a big role in the early stages of the presidential primary process in the Granite State, hosting house parties with potential contenders.
One key difference? The turnaround time. Lamontagne is mulling a gubernatorial run in 2012, and would likely be able to parlay the visibility he gains over the next few months to an immediate campaign starting in early 2012, should he decide to run.