Huffpost Politics

Joni Ernst Wins GOP Primary In Iowa Senate Race

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Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst won the Republican nomination in her bid to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the Associated Press reports.

Ernst emerged from a five candidate field that also included businessman Mark Jacobs and conservative radio host Sam Clovis.

She will face Rep. Bruce Braley, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary Tuesday, in November's general election. Political observers see the matchup as one that could tip control of the Senate.

The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel and Samantha Lachman offered more details on the race earlier this week:

[Ernst] gained national prominence after an ad entitled "Squeal," in which she talked about castrating pigs. Both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney have backed Ernst, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is backing former District Attorney Matt Whitaker (R). Santorum, who ran against Perry and Romney in 2012, is backing radio host Sam Clovis. But Ernst's closest rival, according to recent polling, is businessman Mark Jacobs, the former CEO of Houston-based energy company Reliant Energy. As The Huffington Post has reported, Jacobs made more than $34 million there while the company suffered major losses and at times avoided paying federal income taxes. The winner of the GOP primary will face Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who was criticized in April for making comments that were seen as insulting to farmers.

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