Petersen won't run for governor

So I called state Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, today to see if she's nearing a decision on running for governor. Turns out she's made one.

"As much as I would love to run for governor, I've made a decision not to run in 2014," Petersen said this afternoon.

Petersen, 43, said family concerns led to her decision. She has children age 6, 9 and 12, and a husband who travels frequently for work. She said trying to balance the demands of a statewide race with her work in the Senate is also a worry.

Then there's that five-term governor she'd have to take on if she won the Democratic nomination. Maybe you've heard of him.

Petersen weighed the prospects of a campaign "struggling with taking on a governor who has been governor forever and doesn't miss a parade or ribbon cutting," she said. And, in the end, she decided to stay out of the race.

"Yeah, I need to go to work in the Senate," Petersen said.

So with Bob Krause's announcement earlier today that he's bowing out of the governor's race to support state Sen. Jack Hatch's run, the potential Democratic field is narrowing. Hatch, D-Des Moines takes up the pole position. Webster City bus driver Paul Dahl still plans to run. Former Des Moines School Board member Jonathan Narcisse is making some noise about running for the Democratic nod after running as a third-party candidate in 2010.

So it's narrowed, but is it set in stone? I seriously doubt there are any major contenders lurking, ready to jump in. It's looking more and more like we're going to have a 'stache clash between Hatch and Branstad. I don't think the governor is losing any sleep.

Petersen could have made the change argument more effectively than Hatch can, considering his own long service at the Statehouse. We'll see what happens. But unless something changes, I think we're looking at a pretty sleepy gubernatorial campaign, far overshadowed by more interesting and competitive U.S. Senate and congressional campaigns. 

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