Take U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, off the list of potential suitors for Sen. Tom Harkin’s seat.

Joe Hand, a spokesman for Loebsack, said  that he had talked to the congressman, and he is “not going to throw his hat into the ring.”

The announcement is not a surprise. Loebsack hasn’t been seen as positioning himself for higher office. He did decline in an interview Saturday to rule out a bid, but the interview would have been only a couple of hours after Harkin surprised much of Iowa in announcing he was not going to seek re-election in 2014, and Loebsack said he wanted the focus of attention to be on the senator.

Much of the speculation in the Democratic Party about who might seek the seat has centered on Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa.

Braley said in a statement Sunday that he is considering a bid.

The Waterloo Democrat, long considered a potential successor, was quick Saturday to issue a statement after Harkin’s announcement praising the senator. On Sunday, he said he had been “overwhelmed” with encouragement to run for the seat. It’s not clear how long Braley might take to announce a decision.

Ed Tibbetts reports for the Quad-City Times, another Lee Enterprises newspaper.

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