Rob Hogg for Iowa attorney general in 2018 (updated)

Before digging into posts about the Iowa elections that just happened, I want note for the record that State Senator Rob Hogg would be an excellent candidate for Iowa attorney general in 2018. Though incumbent Tom Miller has not disclosed his plans, he has reportedly told many Iowa Democrats privately that he does not plan to seek a tenth (!) term. An open race for attorney general would likely bring out several Democratic candidates, possibly including Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson and First Assistant Attorney General Kevin McCarthy, a former Iowa House majority leader. Hogg has a strong legal and public policy background, having clerked for two federal judges, practiced law in Cedar Rapids since 2000, and served in the Iowa legislature since 2003. He can speak knowledgeably about a wide range of issues, and he now has experience running a statewide campaign.

Hogg was gracious in conceding the U.S. Senate primary race to former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge this evening. He lost by about 8 percent of the vote against a candidate who started with much higher name recognition and was able to run television commercials during the final two weeks of the race. He was only half a percentage point behind the front-runner in Polk County.

Hogg will be up for re-election in Iowa Senate district 33 in 2018, so unlike this year, he would have to give up his seat in the legislature in order to seek higher office. I hope he will consider it. I enclose below the official bio from his Senate campaign website.

UPDATE: Several readers have suggested Hogg should run for governor in 2018. He would be a strong contender for the position too. I assume a number of Democratic state senators (Janet Petersen, Liz Mathis, Pam Jochum) will be looking at that race as well.

SECOND UPDATE: Multiple sources have contacted me to say Miller shows all signs of running for re-election in 2018. So either he has changed his mind, or sources who heard last year he was planning to retire were misinformed. In that case, many Democrats will be urging Hogg to run for governor in 2018.

Official bio from Rob Hogg's U.S. Senate campaign website:


Rob Hogg is currently serving his third term as state senator for Senate District 33 in Cedar Rapids after two terms as a state representative in the Iowa House. First elected in 2002, he was re-elected to the Iowa House in 2004, ran successfully for the Iowa Senate in 2006, and was re-elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 and 2014.

In the Legislature, Rob has served on the education, judiciary, public safety, natural resources, energy, environmental protection, appropriations, and ways and means committees. In 2015, he became chair of the Senate Government Oversight Committee. In 2009 and 2010, he served as chair of the Senate Rebuild Iowa Committee after the devastating floods and tornadoes of 2008. In 2013 and 2014, he served as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In 2010, Rob helped form the Cedar Rapids Watershed Coalition, a citizen-led effort to advocate for policies and practices to improve watershed and floodplain management to reduce future flood damage and improve water quality. The Coalition is committed to saying “never again” to the level of flood damage that occurred in 2008. Rob currently serves as co-chair of the Coalition.

Since 2011, Rob has helped coordinate an all-volunteer advocacy group called Iowa Climate Advocates working to educate the public about the dangers of climate change and advocating for climate action at all levels. Climate action means slowing down and stopping the buildup of greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere, and safeguarding people and their property from the effects of climate change.

In 2013, Rob released his book, America’s Climate Century: What Climate Change Means for America in the 21st Century and What Americans Can Do About It , which has helped people across the country understand the issue better and take action.

Some of the honors and awards Rob has received during his legislative service include:

One Iowa, Sharon K. Malheiro Public Service Award, 2014
Iowa County Attorney Association, Iowa Justice Award, 2014
Iowa Fraternal Alliance, Legislator of the Year, 2013
Linn County Public Health, Public Health Champion, 2012
Iowa State Education Association, Friend of Education, 2011
Iowa Corrections Association, Outstanding Public Servant, 2010
Iowa Defense Counsel Association, Public Service Award, 2010
Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, Public Service Award, 2007
Older Iowans Legislature, Legislator of the Year, 2005
Iowa Farmers Union, Friend of Family Farmers, 2004


Rob is a fourth generation Iowan. He was born in Iowa City in 1967. Rob's wife, Kate, came to Iowa from California to attend Grinnell College. They met playing volleyball at Old Brick, the home of the Episcopal Student Chaplaincy in Iowa City, in 1988. Rob and Kate have three children, Robert, a college student, and Dorothy and Isabel, who both attend Cedar Rapids Washington High School. They are members of Christ Episcopal Church in Cedar Rapids.

Rob's father, Bob Hogg, a native of Hannibal, Missouri, was a professor of math and statistics at the University of Iowa for 51 years, retiring in 2000. He died in 2014. Rob’s mother, Carolyn Ladd Hogg, was a life-long Iowan. She taught math and English in public schools in Harlan and Cedar Rapids, then devoted herself to raising her four children. She died in 1990. One of Rob’s grandfathers, Mason Ladd, was long-time Dean of the Iowa Law School, and his great-grandfather, Scott Ladd, served on the Iowa Supreme Court. Mason Ladd was born in Sheldon, Iowa, and Rob’s grandmother, Esther Swanson Ladd, was born in Callendar, Iowa.


Rob graduated from City High School in Iowa City in 1985, and then attended the University of Iowa, graduating with a degree in history in 1988. In 1991, Rob earned a master's degree in public affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. In 1995, Rob earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota.


After law school, Rob clerked for the Honorable Donald P. Lay, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Paul, Minnesota. Rob then practiced at the law firm, Leonard, Street and Deinard, in the Twin Cities. In 1998, Rob and Kate moved home to Iowa, where Rob clerked for the Honorable Michael J. Melloy, then Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids. Since 2000, Rob has practiced law with the firm of Elderkin & Pirnie, P.L.C., in Cedar Rapids, where he represents both businesses and individuals in a variety of matters.

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