Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is seeking re-election for an 8-term term
Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator, said Friday he will seek an eighth term in 2022, giving the party more confidence to take the seat as they fight to beat the Democrats’ margins with one vote.
The senator, who turned 88 this month and has held the seat for 40 years, said in Announcement posted on Twitter That there is “a lot to do in Iowa”.
Despite Iowa’s leaning toward the Republican Party over the past decade, Grassley’s decision now allows Republican Senate strategists more time and money to focus on key seats being vacated by retired Republican senators in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Grassley waited much longer than usual to announce his plans. He usually announces his intention to run for another term when he is declared the winner on election night. This year, he has spent his time assessing the obvious factor in his age, although he has spent the summer touring Iowa and appears to be a candidate for re-election.
Should he win, Grassley will turn 95 at the end of his eighth term. He has told advisers he wants to avoid situations like in recent months from late colleagues like Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who were less physically able to keep up with the rigors of the office. Bird died in office at the age of 92, and Thurmond died five months after leaving office at age 100.
“Who knows?” Grassley told The Associated Press during a layover in July in northwest Iowa. “If I announce I’m running, I plan to live until I’m 95. But I may not live that long.”
A bipartisan collaborator throughout his career, Grassley has seen his approval rates in Iowa decline over the years as state and national voters become more polarized.
Grassley spent months at the negotiating table with Republicans and Democrats in 2009, working to draft expanded health care legislation. But he notably abandoned negotiations before he was re-elected in 2010. In 2016, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, Grassley blocked the Supreme Court’s nomination of Merrick Garland, killing then-President Barack Obama’s choice, Democrat.
Although Grassley remained a staunch conservative, he sometimes fell out with former President Donald Trump, a Republican.
In January, Electoral College members voted in Arizona and Pennsylvania hours after Trump supporters rose up in the Capitol in an attempt to stop ratification of Joe Biden’s victory. He also openly objected to the concessions the Trump administration has granted oil companies from the federal renewable fuel standard, a program that helps Iowa farmers.
Grassley faces a symbolic primary opponent in Senator Jim Carlin. Democrat Abby Finkenauer, a former congresswoman, announced in July that she would run for Grassley’s seat, and Democrat Dave Mulbauer, a Democrat, had earlier announced his bid.
Although a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll in June showed 64% of Iowa residents say they don’t want Grassley to run again, a poll by the same group published this week showed Grassley leading 55% to 37% among likely voters In a match between he and Finkenauer.
The seat would be seen as reasonably safe for Republicans even without Grassley on the ticket. Democrats have slipped over the past decade and have not held the governorship since 2006, nor the Senate race since 2008. Although Obama held the presidency in 2008 and 2012, Trump won it handily in 2016 and 2020.
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