State Sen. Liz Mathis Won't Seek Braley's Congressional Seat

By Rick Smith, Reporter

Liz Mathis is sworn in as a member of the Iowa Senate by Senate President John Kibbie as her husband, Mark Mathis, holds two Bibles on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, at Ohnward Bank and Trust in Marion. Mathis will fill a vacancy in Senate District 18 created by the resignation of Swati Dandekar, a Marion Democrat, when she accepted Republican Gov. Terry Branstad�s appointment to the Iowa Utilities Board. (Liz Martin/SourceMedia Group News)

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By Liz Blood

ROBINS, Iowa - State Sen. Liz Mathis of Robins has decided not to seek the U.S. House seat for the state’s 1st Congressional District.

Mathis had been mentioned as a possible Congressional candidate after U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo, said he will not seek re-election in 2014, but instead will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated with the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin.

On Saturday, Mathis said she had been encouraged to run for the 1st Congressional District seat by a sufficient number of party officials and supporters that she felt she needed to investigate the idea, confer with her husband, Mark, and three children about it, and make a decision.

"I am flattered by the support from party faithful, longtime friends and others," she said. … (But) now is not the right time for me, personally, to run for Congress."

Mathis was elected to the Iowa Senate in a special election in November 2011, and then re-elected to a full term in November 2012.

A 19-month-long Congressional campaign, she said, wouldn’t let her concentrate on the Statehouse work she had campaigned twice in 12 months to perform, she said.

Mathis said she enjoys her current role as a "citizen legislator," which allows her to work as chief information officer for the Four Oaks family services agency in Cedar Rapids while serving state Senate District 34, which consists of Marion, Hiawatha, Robins, Bertram, Ely and parts of Linn County and northeast Cedar Rapids.

In the state’s 1st Congressional District, state Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, has said he is running for Braley’s House seat. On the Republican side, Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids and Rod Blum of Dubuque are running.

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