- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic lawmaker Rob Hogg said Wednesday that he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible 2016 U.S. Senate bid.

The state senator from Cedar Rapids plans to start meeting with voters and raising money. The seat is currently held by popular Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican who has served in the Senate since 1981.

Hogg, 48, said he wants to hear from Iowans, noting that it may be time for new representation in Washington.

“I don’t think anybody thinks Congress is working well. I think most Iowans believe that getting Congress to work better will require new leadership,” said Hogg, who declined to talk about Grassley’s record.

Grassley, 81, plans to seek a seventh term next year. Asked about Hogg’s new committee, Anne Roth, a spokeswoman for the Grassley committee, said in a statement that the senator “takes nothing for granted in running for re-election.”

Hogg said he wants to focus on climate change, economic growth and reforming the campaign system. He has not set a timeline to make a decision.

Hogg, who works as an attorney, is currently serving his third term in the Iowa Senate, where he is chair of the Government Oversight Committee. He previously served in the Iowa House. He authored a book about climate change that was released in 2013.

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