Former Rep. Abby Finkenauer, Iowa Democrat, announced Thursday she is running for GOP Sen. Charles E. Grassley‘s seat.
Mr. Grassley, 87, has yet to say whether he will seek an eighth term.
In her announcement video, Ms. Finkenauer, 32, says that Mr. Grassley and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, have shown they will do anything to hang onto power — including turning their backs on voters.
“The politicians who have been there for decades don’t really want people like us there,” Ms. Finkenauer said. “They think they own Democracy and they were silent when it was attacked.”
“See, it is politicians like Senator Grassley and Mitch McConnell who should know better, but are so obsessed with power that they oppose anything that moves us forward,” she said. “Since the Capitol was attacked, they have turned their backs on democracy and us.”
“They have made their choice, and I am making mine: I’m running for the United States Senate,” she said. “I am running for the United States Senate because this democracy is ours and truth matters.”
Ms. Finkenauer was elected to Congress in 2018 and served one term before losing her re-election bid to Republican challenger Ashley Hinson.
Ms. Finkenauer‘s announcement will put more attention on Mr. Grassley‘s decision-making.
Mr. Grassley has represented Iowa in the Senate since 1981 and has been one of the state’s most beloved political figures. His strong name recognition and political connections would make him the immediate favorite if he sought another term.
But there are signs that voters are looking for a fresh face.
A Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll released last month found that fewer than a third of Iowa’s likely voters said they would vote to reelect Mr. Grassley.
The survey showed that 64% of voters said they think it is time for someone new, compared to 27% who said they would vote to re-elect Mr. Grassley.
Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, said Ms. Finkenauer is dreaming if she thinks she could win the seat.
“Let me be as clear as possible — Abby Finkenauer will never represent the state of Iowa in the U.S. Senate,” Mr. Kaufman said.
“No matter how she tries to reinvent herself, Iowans will see that her values and priorities are just the same as AOC’s and Chuck Schumer’s,” he said. “I look forward to seeing even more Iowans reject Finkenauer once again.”