With four out of twenty Republican senators facing the voters in 2022 announcing they are stepping down, speculation has been rampant in the last few weeks that Iowa’s seven-term Sen. Chuck Grassley will soon become the fifth retiree.
On Monday, that speculation reached a crescendo after Republican State Sen. Jim Carlin filed to seek his party’s Senate nomination regardless of what Grassley eventually does.
As for Democrats, the “Bleeding Heartland” blog on Iowa politics concluded that “an open-seat race would be less of a long-shot than a bid against Senator Chuck Grassley. He has not clarified whether he intends to retire or seek an eighth six-year term in 2022, when he would be 89 years old on Election Day.”
At age 87 and after 41 years in the Senate that makes him the most-senior Republican senator, many Hawkeye State observers say it is only natural for him to step down.
They also note that his grandson, State House Speaker Pat Grassley, is in a strong position to succeed the senator who is a much-loved figure among Iowans of both parties.
But longtime friends and associates of Grassley who spoke to Newsmax concluded that while the senator could retire when he announces his decision later this year, he is more likely than not to seek and easily win 8th term.
“He doesn’t know now,” said John Maxwell, who has run all of Grassley’s campaigns going back to his first election for the U.S. House in 1974, “But when he decides what he wants to do later in the year, if he feels capable of serving another six years without physical restrictions, he will run.”
Like other Iowans close to Grassley, Maxwell noted that the non-smoking, teetotaling senator still runs early every morning and “shows no sign of losing a step.”
“And he’s continuing the ‘Full Grassley,’ added Maxwell, a reference to the senator’s policy of visiting all of Iowa’s 99 counties every year.
“So far, he’s been to 20 of the 99,” he said.
Mike Schreurs, a Des Moines businessman who has been involved in Grassley’s campaigns since his first primary for the House in 1974, told us he hopes the senator runs again and “I think he will.”
“He’s the epitome of a citizen-representative,” said Schreurs, “You’ll see him at an airport talking to a Native American from Iowa about some tribal issue and he’s totally absorbed and informed on it.”
“I can’t imagine him on a rocking chair at his home in New Hartford [Iowa],” he said.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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