State Senator 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.
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.
Ernst also received endorsements from a variety of groups and individuals, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Rifle Association and Sarah Palin.
If she wins election to the Senate, Ernst would become the first Iowa woman elected to Congress.