Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Reveal Navigation

Whitaker Prepares For Senate Bid While Awaiting King's Decision Whitaker Prepares For Senate Bid While Awaiting King's Decision Whitaker Prepares For Senate Bid While Awaiting King's Decision Whitaker Prepares For Sen...

share
This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Whitaker Prepares For Senate Bid While Awaiting King's Decision

photo of Alex Brown
April 24, 2013

Iowa Republicans may not have a Senate candidate yet, but former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker is readying to fill the void if Rep. Steve King takes a pass on the race. "It's smart to take steps to move forward no matter what [King's] decision is," Whitaker said. "At some point in time the race needs to get started."

Whitaker said he will run if King doesn't, regardless of the decisions of any other potential Republican candidates. "I fully expect a primary, but I think we'll have to let it see how it plays," he said. Meanwhile, he's talking to campaign veterans and planning a trip to East Coast. Whitaker said he's working to arrange a meeting with the National Republican Senatorial Committee as part of that trip.

As far as his electoral credentials, Whitaker points to his record as a prosecutor and small businessman, as well as his political background -- he worked on both Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry's Iowa campaigns. "I went to my first caucus when I was 17, when I was a senior in high school, and have been active and involved in politics ever since," he said.

It also can't hurt that Whitaker played tight end on the University of Iowa's Big Ten champion football team in 1990, the last year the school appeared in the Rose Bowl. "It's just context for who I am," he said, pledging to run a campaign on issues rather than past achievements. "I don't plan on wearing my Rose Bowl jersey to eastern Iowa," he said. Besides, he joked, he still has to win over Iowa State supporters, calling Cyclone fans "one of the major outreach efforts of my campaign."

School affiliations aside, Whitaker said he can appeal to the various elements within the Iowa GOP, including libertarians, evangelicals and Tea Party activists. "I share a lot of the libertarians' beliefs on the limited role of government. I'm a man of faith and have strong Christian beliefs," he said, adding that he identifies with "the Tea Party and what it stands for. [Those are] natural constituencies for me."

When told he had been compared to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Whitaker laughed and said he knew Christie through their overlapping tenures as U.S. Attorneys. "I'm plainspoken, no-nonsense and practical," Whitaker said. "Chris is a great model of a blunt leader who tells it like it is. I take that as a compliment."

Whitaker said he expects King "will make a decision in short order," but in the meantime he's preparing to launch a bid if the conservative firebrand opts to pass. "I think given the opportunity, I'm going to put everything I have into this and build a first-class campaign," he said.

You May Find These of Interest
Get us in your feed.
Job Board
Search Jobs
Watershed Resources Specialist
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Francisco, CA
Project Manager II
American Society of Civil Engineers | Memphis, TN
Manager of Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Berkeley, CA
Mechanical Engineer - Dallas, TX
American Society of Civil Engineers | Dallas, TX
SENIOR STRUCTURAL ENGINEER / ENGINEERING PRODUCTION MANAGER
American Society of Civil Engineers | Boulder, CO
Senior GCP Auditor
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Francisco, CA
Structural Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Orlando, FL
Construction Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Concrete Testing Technician & Special Inspectors
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
SharePoint Specialist - Englewood, CO
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Construction Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Cleveland, OH
Rail Vehicle Mechanical Engineer - Elmira, NY
American Society of Civil Engineers | Philadelphia, PA
Structural Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Engineering Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers | Springfield, VA