Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced Friday morning that he will, in fact, run for an eighth term next year. He made the announcement on Twitter at 4 a.m., when, he tweeted, he always starts his daily run. His tweet included a video of him running.
Grassley, who just turned 88, has been coy about his 2022 plans for more than a year. "His decision is a victory for national Republicans who have made it clear they wanted Grassley — who has repeatedly been re-elected by double-digit margins — to run again," the Des Moines Register reports, noting that a recent Register poll found him beating leading Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer by 18 percentage points, 55 percent to 37 percent. Several other incumbent Senate Republicans are not seeking re-election, complicating the GOP's hopes of retaking the Senate.
Some Iowans argue that Grassley's seniority is an asset for the state — aside from plum committee assignments, he was president pro temp of the Senate last time the GOP was in charge, putting him third in line for the presidency. But others say it's time for a change. Finkenauer, who announced her candidacy in July, noted recently that Grassley has been in elected office continuously since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. He has been in the Senate since 1981.
Grassley isn't the oldest U.S. senator. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is a few months older, though she has only been in the Senate since 1993.