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Former state representative Roberts ponders U.S. Senate race

(Radio Iowa) – A former state legislator and candidate for governor says he’s considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

Fifty-five-year-old Rod Roberts served 10 years in the Iowa House, representing the Carroll area, before he ran for governor. Roberts got about nine percent of the votes cast in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary that Terry Branstad won.

Roberts said during an interview on Monday that he doesn’t want to be “impulsive” about running for the U.S. Senate and will announce his decision by the end of the summer.

“In a field of multiple candidates in a compressed timeline, you really have to think about the potential support that’s out there, the resources to put a viable campaign together,” Roberts said. “So now it’s: Can you do it in kind of a sprint to the finish line?”

Just as he felt “called” to be an ordained minister in the Church of Christ, Roberts said he feels a “calling” to public service.

“When that’s in your background and that’s kind of how you’re wired, this comes very naturally to me to consider an opportunity like this, especially when you place a high regard on what others are saying to you,” Roberts said. “You know as that comes to you, you don’t just ignore it or disregard it. You think about it pretty seriously and I am.”

Governor Branstad appointed Roberts to serve as director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals in early 2011, a job Roberts would have to leave if he runs for the senate.

“I do have a job I enjoy and people I enjoy working with and that weighs in my thinking, too,” Roberts said.

Roberts is active on the online social network Twitter and his recent Tweets have addressed federal issues like immigration reform and the need for a “conservative candidate” to run for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat in 2014.