FILE - Sens. Chuck Grassley and Tom Udall

U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley, and R-Iowa, and Tom Udall, D-N.M., speak during the Senate impeachment trial. Content Exchange

(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, announced Friday he is running for re-election.

Grassley, at 88, is the second-oldest U.S. senator. He has held the seat since 1981.

“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,” he tweeted around 4 a.m. Central Time, with a video of him jogging.

Grassley’s opponents include Democrat Abby Finkenauer, who announced her campaign July 22. Finkenauer was the second-youngest woman, at age 29, ever elected to Congress, following U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Finkenauer beat Republican Rod Blum in the 2018 election for U.S. House Iowa District 1. She lost to U.S. Rep Ashley Hinson, R-IA, in their 2020 race for the seat.

“ChuckGrassley has spent 47 years with the DC elite, lining his own pockets while families like mine back in Iowa have been left behind,” she tweeted in response to Grassley’s announcement. “Now, he’s running yet again to put Pharma over our seniors, Wall Street over working people, and monopolies over small businesses.”

In the primary, Finkenauer will face former Crawford Co Supervisor Dave Muhlbauer, a farmer in Manning, whose grandfather, Louis, and father, Dan, served in the Iowa House of Representatives, with five terms and two terms respectively.

“I'm a 5th generation, farming, labor Democrat. I operate my family farm here in Iowa. I'm running for U.S. Senate to fight for working people,” Muhlbauer tweeted May 24.

She will also face Glenn Hurst, a family practice physician, who is the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Rural Caucus and a Minden City Council member. He said in a Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey that healthcare reforms, jobs “that solve the major crises facing our nation” and investments in rural recovery are key messages for his campaign.

Iowa Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, will challenge Grassley in the Republican primary. He recently criticized Grassley in a news release for voting for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that “would pave the way for the rest of Biden’s catastrophic agenda through an even larger $3.5 trillion dollar spending bill that [Senate Democrats] would pass through reconciliation.”

“Middle class working families and fixed income seniors will pay the price for a spending spree that devalues their paychecks and ups their living expenses.… Grassley knew this was the end result all along. His actions are incomprehensible and show a willful disregard for Iowa farmers and families.” Carlin said. “That’s why I’m running for Senate. We need people there who will stand up and act in the best interest of Iowans.”

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a news release from the Iowa GOP that the seat is vital for Republicans and that Grassley is “one of the most effective Senators” in Iowa history. Kaufmann said Finkenauer’s endorsement of President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign was “proving she will be a rubber stamp for the entire Democrat agenda.”

“The road to a Republican majority runs right through Iowa,” he said. “Defending this seat should be a top priority for every Iowan looking to stop Joe Biden's chaotic agenda.”

Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, tweeted his support for his grandfather.

“No one works harder for Iowa than my grandpa,” Pat said. “With the chaos in Washington, we need Chuck Grassley now more than ever.”

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