A Republican from southwest Iowa who has been a member of the Iowa Senate since 2011 is considering a bid for the U.S. Senate. Forty-two-year-old Joni Ernst of Red Oak also serves as a major in the Iowa National Guard.
Ernst says if she were a member of the U.S. Senate, tackling the federal deficit would be her top priority.
Ernst and her husband have three daughters. Their youngest is 13 and will be entering high school next year.
Ernst hopes to make a final decision about running for the U.S. Senate in 30 days.
Republican Congressman Steve King has been considering a bid for the U.S. Senate since Democrat Tom Harkin announced in January that he would not seek reelection.
Earlier this week King said he was "still on the bubble" about the race. Ernst served six years as the Montgomery County Auditor before running in a special election for the state senate seat Kim Reynolds gave up to become Iowa's lieutenant governor.
The district changed for the 2012 election. Between the two districts, Ernst has represented 10 different counties in southwest Iowa.