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CEDAR FALLS | Two-term Cedar Falls legislator Walt Rogers made it official Tuesday, announcing he will seek the Republican nomination for Iowa's 1st Congressional District.

Rogers, 52, called for creating a "smaller, smarter government."

"This election needs a proven, battle-tested leader who is able to assemble the resources and the team required to win in November,” Rogers said in his announcement.

He was first elected to the Iowa House in 2010 and served as an assistant majority leader.

He joins two other announced Republicans --- Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje and Dubuque businessman Rod Blum ---seeking the GOP nomination. Former Cedar Rapids Mayor Paul Pate is expected to announce his candidacy soon.

Five candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination, including fellow Cedar Valley legislator Anesa Kajtazovic of Waterloo.

Last month, Rogers, a former youth pastor, announced he had formed an exploratory committee to make the run for the Congressional seat.

He is a pro-life conservative who is originally from Waterloo and a graduate of Waterloo Columbus High School. He is married with three children and seven grandchildren.

In the Legislature, he was a key person trying to curb the use of red light and traffic cameras in the state and was the Republican point person for managing the legislation that eventually became the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. Rogers serves on the Appropriations, Economic Growth, Education, and Transportation committees and is the vice chair of the Administration and Rules Appropriations Committee.

The 1st District seat is open because incumbent Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley is running for U.S. Senate.

The district includes 20 northeast Iowa counties.

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