Chuck Grassley, the Senate‘s oldest Republican lawmaker, announced Friday morning he will seek an eighth term office, giving his party a much-needed boost heading into the midterm election.
‘It’s 4 a.m. in Iowa so I’m running. I do that 6 days a week. Before I start the day I want you to know what Barbara and I have decided. I’m running for re-election – a lot more to do, for Iowa. We ask and will work for your support. Will you join us?,’ Grassley tweeted.
His decision will no doubt be a sigh of relief for Republicans who are trying to win back control the chamber.
Grassley improves their odds of holding onto the Iowa Senate seat in a tough year for the GOP. Republicans are defending 20 seats in 2022, including two in states Joe Biden won in 2020, while Democrats are defending 14 and none in states carried by Donald Trump.
Chuck Grassley, the Senate’s oldest Republican lawmaker, announced Friday morning he will seek an eighth term office, giving his party a much-needed boost
The senator, who will be 89 on election day next year, had kept Republicans guessing for months about whether or not he would seek another six-year term.
Grassley has repeatedly been reelected by double-digit margins.
And a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll released this week showed him leading Democratic challenger Rep. Abby Finkenauer by 18 points, 55% to 37%.
His decision to run comes after several of his fellow Republican senators announced they would not be on the ballot next year, complicating GOP efforts to win control of the chamber: Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Selby of Alabama all decided no to run again.
Grassley is the 10th longest-serving US senator in history.
When Republicans held control of the Senate, Grassley became president pro tempore, putting him third in line to the presidency – a spot he would take again if the GOP wins control of the chamber next year.
Grassley has a long career in national politics. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1975 and to the Senate in 1980.
He is not the oldest senator – Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California has him beat by three months.
His most visible role, and most influential, has been on the Senate Judiciary Committee where he pushed through the nominations of dozens of judges during Trump’s presidency as well as seeing three Supreme Court justices confirmed, including the controversial nominations of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
But he also tangled with Trump when the former president fired inspectors general for the agencies and departments, raising Grassley’s ire.
In November, he tested positive for COVID and quarantined until he recovered. He touts his good health and is a regular runner, jogging several times a week.
His COVID quarantine busted his long streak of not missing Senate votes.
Before his diagnosis he hadn’t missed a vote since July 20, 1993, when severe flooding damaged Iowa – a streak of 8,927 consecutive votes and 27 years that came to an end.
Chuck Grassley was first elected to the Senate in the 1980 election, he’s seen above in 1981, the year he took office
Chuck Grassley’s most visible role, and most influential, has been on the Senate Judiciary Committee; above, as committee chairman, he shepherded through Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court
Grassley, and Senator Richard Blumenthal, hold a press conference with US Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney (L) and Aly Raisman (2-L) after their testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month
Grassley is active on social media, famously tweeting complaints the History Channel doesn’t show enough history and posting pictures from his annual summer tour of all 99 counties in Iowa.
Since first taking office in the Senate 1981, Grassley has held public meetings in all of Iowa’s 99 counties each year.
At the end of his tour, he rewards himself with a blizzard from Dairy Queen. This year’s was snickers flavored.