Iowa Democrats -- who may be contesting as many as three open House races -- already have a pair of high-profile candidates in the run-up to 2014. Businessman Mike Sherzan -- a DCCC recruit -- isn't waiting on Rep. Tom Latham's decision on the state's open-seat Senate race to launch a bid in the 3rd District. Meanwhile, state Rep. Pat Murphy says his long legislative tenure and well-developed party connections make him the logical choice to succeed Rep. Bruce Braley, already a Senate candidate, in the 1st.
But despite their strong credentials and early entry into the race, Sherzan and Murphy shouldn't expect to see party support coalesce behind them anytime soon. With the sure shakeup 2014 will bring to Iowa's long-static political landscape, Democrats see an opportunity to finally elect a woman to Congress; the Hawkeye State is one of five states that have never done so. Operatives mention a number of women who have expressed interest in running, and after years of limited political turnover, some don't want to miss their window to make history.