Iowa Lieutenant Endorses Ernst In U.S. Senate Race

State Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, gets a hug from State Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, during a campaign stop in July in Waukee. (Mike Wiser photo)

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she's supporting fellow Republican Joni Ernst in her effort to win the U.S. Senate seat next year.

Ernst, from Red Oak, was elected to succeed Reynolds in a southwest Iowa Senate district and is serving in her third year.

Reynolds says Ernst is a proven conservative and the best of the Republican Party.

Gov. Terry Branstad says he will not endorse a Republican primary candidate for the Senate seat to be left open in 2015 by the retirement of Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

The primary next June will be crowded with Republicans with at least five other candidates announced and others considering a run to go up against the Democratic nominee, likely U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the only Democrat running so far.

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