Energy CEO to launch Iowa Senate race

Former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs (R) will announce he's running for Iowa's open Senate seat next week, a source close to Jacobs tells The Hill.

"He will announce that he's going to run," the source says. "He'll be visiting the major markets the first day and then spend a number of days criss-crossing the state after that."

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Jacobs is scheduled to make a campaign announcement on Tuesday. He'll join a crowded field of Republicans hoping to face Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Braley10 rising stars in the energy and environment world DC delegate plans to confront GOP lawmaker calling for Washington recession DC delegate slams GOP lawmaker calling for Washington recession MORE (D-Iowa), the consensus choice for the Democratic nomination following Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) decision to retire.

The former energy CEO will face Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R), former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker (R), David Young (R), a former chief of staff to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and conservative radio host Sam Clovis (R) in a crowded primary.

If no candidate gets 35 percent in next spring's primary the nominee will be chosen by party convention, which establishment Republicans fear could lead to the nomination of a candidate too conservative to win statewide.

Jacobs has the ability to self-fund, however, which may give him a big edge in the race. He's likely to focus his campaign on winning over fiscally conservative, business Republicans.

"He's going to focus on his unique experience as a business executive who's been able to be a problem-solver," the source says.

The Hill rates Iowa's Senate race as "likely Democratic."

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