Iowa GOP Candidates Gear Up For Senate Primary

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As the 2014 election cycle takes shape, no clear leader has broken out in the Republican race to take on Democrat Bruce Braley in the fall.

At least six candidates are competing to run against Braley, a congressman from Waterloo and only Democrat in the field.

Republicans hope that weak approval ratings for President Barack Obama and his policies will boost the GOP's chances for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

Some of the state's top Republican office-holders didn't run, opening the doors for the lesser-known candidates, including radio host Sam Clovis; state Sen. Joni Ernst; former energy company CEO Mark Jacobs; former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker; lawyer Paul Lunde; and former car salesman Scott Schaben.

Conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats says he's considering a bid.
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