First-term Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) announced Sunday that he would not seek re-election in 2014. Johanns served as Secretary of Agriculture during the George W. Bush administration and is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
This news comes on the heels of retirement announcements made last month by two other members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA).
Chambliss will retire after serving two terms in the Senate. He was chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee in the 109th Congress and ranking member of the Agriculture Committee in both the 110th and 111th sessions of Congress.
Harkin, now in his fifth term as senator, has represented Iowa in Congress for over 38 years. He was chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee when the last two farm bills were passed, in 2002 and 2008. When he retires, it will be the first time since 1974 that Iowa has had an open Senate seat.
Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack had been mentioned until recently as a likely frontrunner in the Iowa Senate race. Over the weekend, Vilsack confirmed that he will not enter the Senate race and will remain with the Administration.
For more information, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at email@example.com.