Democrats Approach Liz Mathis About Congressional Run

By Pat Kinney, The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Cedar Rapids, greets Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids, left, during the opening day of the Iowa Legislature, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Aaron Hepker

WATERLOO, Iowa - Iowa State Sen. and former Eastern Iowa television news anchor Liz Mathis said Thursday she has been asked to consider running for the U.S. 1st District Congressional seat now that incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley has formed a committee to run for the U.S. Senate.

“Yes, I have been approached to run for Congress in the First District. Fellow Democrats have urged me to consider it,” Mathis said in an e-mail response to the Courier from Des Moines. “But right now, I am concentrating on the State Senate and working hard for the people who live in District 34,” in northern and western Linn County.

Mathis made her statement following incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley’s announcement he is forming a committee to run for the U.S. Senate following Tom Harkin’s announced retirement at the end of his current term.

Asked if she’d set any kind of time frame for herself to consider a run, she replied, “Again. Just focusing on my work in the Senate right now.”

Former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, said last week he planned to run for Braley’s seat if he ran for the Senate. Multiple state lawmakers said they had received phone calls from Murphy Thursday confirming that he intends to run.

Mathis won a special election to fill a state Senate seat in November 2011 when Swati Dandekar of Marion was appointed to the Iowa Utilities Board. Mathis was re-elected last November to a redrawn district following reapportionment. Some political observers have speculated since her 2011 election whether she would seek higher office.

Mathis, of Robins, is a native of rural DeWitt in Clinton County who attended the University of Iowa. She worked for KWWL-TV in Waterloo from 1980 to 1996 and taught at Wartburg College in Waverly before joining KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids in 1998. In 2007 she left KCRG to become chief information officer for Four Oaks, a child welfare and juvenile justice agency. She sits on the Wartburg board of regents.

Her husband Mark, a former KWWL executive, is a founding partner of the ME&V advertising agency in Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids.

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