DES MOINES - A businessman from Cedar Rapids is the first Republican to declare he's running for the northeastern Iowa congressional seat that will be vacated by U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley.
The Des Moines Register reports Steve Rathje said Friday he will run for the 1st Congressional District seat. He is the founder and president of International Procurement Services Inc. in Hiawatha.
Rathje says he nearly ran against Braley last year. Rathje says his campaign will focus on cutting spending and reducing the outsourcing of jobs.
Braley's seat will be open because he opted to run for Tom Harkin's U.S. Senate seat after four terms in the House.
Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy from Dubuque has also said he will run for Braley's seat.
The 1st District includes 20 northeast Iowa counties.