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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus

Sam Clovis, right, listens as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks during an October 2012 rally at Mitt Romney's presidential campaign office in Sioux City.

Just over two years ago, Morningside College Professor Sam Clovis moved higher on the radar in Siouxland politics. Clovis had been a source in various Journal articles since 2005 regarding economics, but he began hosting a radio talk show on KSCJ-AM in Sioux City and emceeing politics events.

I recall being impressed in March 2011 when Clovis led the festivities at a metro Republican political event where presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Herman Cain spoke. He later was at a city campaign event of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, where she told him, "You are like the nicest guy, of all the radio shows."

Now, it appears Clovis himself could become a candidate, pursuing the U.S. Senate seat in Iowa in 2014.

Earlier today, he told the Journal he will make an announcement Monday about his future. Clovis would not say if he will announce a senatorial decision.

"I'll be making an announcement that affects my future, and certainly my future on the radio, and it is a commitment for something down the road," said Clovis, who also works as a Morningside College economics professor. "I will have a sabbatical planned for the fall, and it will allow me to explore some options that I might not have been able to do otherwise."

It would be unlikely for Clovis to do like U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who in 2007 held an event to announce that he hadn't made a decision on his pending re-election decision.

Clovis, a Republican, in late May said he had been encouraged to consider the 2014 Senate race and that he would decide by June.

Clovis aims to be the "red-meat conservative" on issues that Iowans hold dear. He answered questions Wednesday about his skill set, while multiple times reminding that he is not saying he will seek office.

"I'm a very principled man, a man of great integrity, so that is a skill set that I think is very much there," he said.

"I've been a natural leader my whole life and I think those are, again, skills that are very lacking in Washington. Because we don't have people who are willing to stand up and tell people the truth and then stick to their principles to make sure that happens. Everything seems to be about self-interest, nothing seems to be about the people of the country."

Clovis added, "I've been an executive, I've been in business, non-profit, for-profit, education, military service second to none, a very distinguished career there. So I have all of the credentials that one would need to be a person that one would look to to lead and do the things that are necessary to lead this country, particularly if one pursued public office in the United States Senate."

He said too many of the 100 senators are "ideologues" who care more about "self-interest or to enrich themselves."

Said Clovis, "We don't have near enough people in there to do what's best for the country. That's where I think I -- I've done that my whole life. And that's what I would continue to do, if that were what I was doing."  (There's that Senate-decision distancing, again.)

A native of Kansas, Clovis came to Iowa in 2000, when he taught at William Penn University, in Oskaloosa, prior to moving onto Morningside in 2005.

The seat is held by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The only Democrat to enter the race so far is U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo.

Other GOP candidates are former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker and David Young, a former top aide to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. State Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, also is considering a campaign.


County and education reporter

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