The most prominent Democrat yet has almost thrown his name into the Iowa gubernatorial race. State Sen. Jack Hatch -- a housing developer and outspoken advocate for expanding government health insurance to low income Iowans -- told the Des Moines Register that a run is "really likely."
The only thing keeping him from making the announcement official: The possibilities of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D) or former Govs. Tom Vilsack (D) or Chet Culver (D) running for the state's top post. If they run, Harkin said he'd back out.
The Register reported that Harkin has ruled out a bid. Vilsack's and Culver's intentions are still unclear, although state operatives said it is unlikely they'd jump in.
If Hatch runs and gets the nomination, he'd likely face Gov. Terry Branstad (R), who is expected to run for an unprecedented sixth term.