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DES MOINES — A day after declining to endorse his successor while still Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey said Tuesday he’s backing Mike Naig’s election to the post.

On Monday, Northey praised Naig but stopped short of endorsing his election.

“I won’t give you an actual political endorsement,” Northey said when asked Monday. However, he did reserve the right to “weigh in ... in a purely private capacity.”

Tuesday morning, private citizen Northey weighed in, tweeting that “I heartily endorse Mike Naig as our next Iowa Ag Secy.”

Northey, who resigned Monday afternoon, is scheduled to be sworn in as undersecretary for farm and foreign ag services by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue at 8 p.m. Tuesday as part of the annual Iowa Agricultural Leaders Dinner at the State Fairgrounds.

“Mike has been a great partner as my Deputy Secy of ag for 4+ yrs. Mike is ready to lead. Let’s elect Mike in June & Nov!,” Northey said in his social media post.

Naig, who officially declared his candidacy after Gov. Kim Reynolds announced she would appoint him to lead the Iowa Department of Agriculture, will have to win a Republican primary to run in the November general election.

Others candidates who’ve announced they’ll also seek the GOP nomination are state Sen. Dan Zumbach of Ryan, Craig Lange of Brooklyn, Ray Gaesser of Corning and Chad Ingels of Randalia. Democrat Tim Gannon also has indicated he will run.

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Statehouse reporter for The Courier

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