Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2014, marking the third House retirement of the day in a battleground district.
Latham, a 10-term veteran, beat Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell in a member-versus-member contest in 2012 after both were drawn into the same district under Iowa's new House maps. In doing so, Latham became one of just 17 House Republicans to win a district that President Obama also carried in 2012, with 51 percent of the vote. His retirement gives Democrats a major opportunity to retake the seat next year.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already tapped former state Sen. Staci Appel as a marquee candidate for the district, and she'll now have a head start on a Republican opponent heading into next year.
This is the third Obama-Republican House seat to open this year: Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., also retired, and former Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., died in October. Another veteran Republican from a closely divided district, Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, also announced his retirement Tuesday, as did Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, whose conservative-leaning seat is likely to flip to the GOP in 2014.
Latham had toyed with the idea of running for Senate earlier this year, but he said in his statement that he "will not be a candidate for any office" in 2014.