DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator, said he will seek an eighth term in 2022, giving the party more confidence in holding the seat as they fight to overtake Democrats’ one-vote margin.
The senator, who turned 88 this month and has held the seat for 40 years, said in an announcement posted on Twitter that there is “a lot more to do, for Iowa.”
Grassley waited longer than usual to announce his plans. He typically announces his intentions to run for another term when declaring victory on election night. This year, he took his time to weigh the factor of his advanced age, though he spent the summer touring Iowa and looking much like a candidate for reelection.
Should he win, Grassley would be 95 at the end of his eighth term. He has told advisers he wants to avoid situations like the final months of late colleagues such as Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who were physically less able to keep up with the rigors of the office. Byrd died in office at age 92, and Thurmond died months after leaving office at age 100.
Democrat Abby Finkenauer, a former congresswoman, announced in July that she was running for Grassley’s seat. A Des Moines Register poll recently showed Grassley leading 55% to 37% among likely voters in a matchup between him and Finkenauer.
Democrats have receded over the past decade and haven’t carried the governorship since 2006, nor a Senate race since 2008 in the state.