DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator, said Friday that he will seek an eighth term in 2022 in a race where he would be the favorite to win reelection.
The 88-year-old, who has been in the Senate for 40 years, said in an announcement posted on Twitter that there is “a lot more to do, for Iowa.”
Once proudly bipartisan, Grassley adapted deftly to the new hyperpartisanship of the Trump era. While some of his fellow longtimers in Washington are calling it quits, fed up with the rightward lurch of the GOP or the inertia in Congress, Grassley has set out to show he’s thriving.
Despite job approval that’s ebbed in the past decade, Grassley faces a nominal primary opponent in state Sen. Jim Carlin. Democrat Abby Finkenauer, a former congresswoman, announced in July that she was running for Grassley’s seat and Democratic farmer Dave Muhlbauer earlier announced a bid.
Recently published results from a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll showed Grassley leads 55% to 37% among likely voters in a matchup between him and Finkenauer, with another 7% not sure who they would vote for in that scenario. The poll of 620 likely voters, conducted Sept. 12- 15, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
State and local Democratic officials have said the party has receded in the onetime battleground state. Republican Donald Trump easily won the state in 2016 and in 2020.
Grassley has adapted smoothly to changes in the GOP. He’s consistently supported Trump’s agenda and often his political tactics. At times, he’s even taken a lead role in satisfying the party’s vocal right wing.
But the senator hasn’t always been a Trump acolyte. He voted to count Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes the day of the deadly Capitol riot in January. He also objected loudly to waivers the Trump administration gave petroleum companies from the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, a goal that helps Iowa farmers.