DES MOINES — State Sen. Kevin Kenney, a Johnson County Democrat, has joined the list of those considering entering an open-seat congressional race in Iowa’s 2nd District. U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, a Democrat, announced last week he will retire after this term.

Kinney is an Oxford farmer and retired deputy sheriff.

“I’m talking to people here in Des Moines, back home and my family,” Kinney said. He hopes to make a decision within the next few weeks.

His name goes on a list with Iowa City businesswoman Veronica Tessler, state Sen. Zach Wahls of Coralville, Quad Cities attorney Ian Russell and former state Sen. Rita Hart of Wheatland, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Wahls has said he would support Hart if she runs but didn’t rule out running if she doesn’t.

Kinney, 56, who was first elected in 2014, previously served on the Clear Creek Amana school board. He’s the ranking Democrat on the Iowa House Agriculture and Judiciary committees and serves on Ethics and Transportation committees as well as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.

As a congressman, Kinney said, he would focus on agriculture issues at the federal level and “work on a lot of the same things I’m working on through Judiciary, such as crime victims and being able to be a voice for them.”

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Statehouse reporter for The Courier

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