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Ernst wins Iowa Republican primary for US Senate

June 4, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State Sen. Joni Ernst has won the Republican primary for an Iowa U.S. Senate seat held for 30 years by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.

The 43-year-old Ernst won the nomination over five candidates. She’ll face Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in the November general election.

The outcome in November could change the balance of the U.S. Senate where Republicans only need six seats to gain control from the Democrats.

All the Republicans seeking the nomination described themselves as deeply conservative, but Ernst managed to stand out in part due to two television ads. One featured her on a farm, talking about her experience castrating hogs, and the other showed her firing a handgun.