Want ad for U.S. House seat isn't attractive

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Itís hat-throwing season, but it seems like the ring is filling with towels.

When current 1st District U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley announced a run for the U.S. Senate, I figured candidates would line up for his House seat, especially Democrats, who have a registration edge. And in a state that hasnít sent a woman to Congress, itís a chance to make history.

But on Saturday, state Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Robins, who would have been a top contender, said sheís not running. Ditto from State Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center. Assistant Dubuque City Manager Teri Goodmann also is out, reports the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.

State Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, is running, although Murphy mania has yet to catch on. Wait for it.

Two Republicans who ran before for Congress and lost, Rod Blum of Dubuque and Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids, also are in, as of now. Itís still early. But itís later than you think, in terms of organizing a run, raising bucks and such.

Why so few applicants? Maybe itís our want ad.

ďHelp wanted.

"Weíre looking for an ambitious, hardworking, idealistic candidate willing to vie for a high-profile position. An ideal candidate must be optimistic, realistic, consensus-driven, ruggedly individualistic, guided by principle, steered by public opinion, with a heart of gold, a killer instinct, a thick skin, a sense of humor, low expectations, high self-esteem and a photogenic golden retriever.

ďThe candidate must be willing to subject any and all beloved family members to numerous, new and unique discomforts, inconveniences and insults, while also spending far less quality time with them.

ďThe candidate, if selected, must be prepared to tackle vital policy issues, but should expect to encounter ceaseless gridlock, partisan warfare, procedural barriers, enormous egos, powerful interests and shameless horse-trading. Accomplishments will be few, and may bear no resemblance whatsoever to original intentions. When not engaged in frustrating and largely fruitless legislative pursuits, the candidate should be prepared to spend several hours each day begging for money.

ďThe position offers competitive pay and benefits. A successful candidate will be expected to simultaneously live in and relentlessly repudiate Washington, D.C. Youíll be joining a historic organization that is also, currently, reviled by the vast majority of Americans. Apply to the voters of the 1st District.Ē

Yeah, itís weird that more people arenít running. Maybe we shouldn't sugar-coat it so much.

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