IA-Sen: Patty Judge thinking about challenging Chuck Grassley

The Des Moines Register’s Jason Noble snagged a surprising scoop yesterday: former Lieutenant Governor and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge is considering running for the U.S. Senate this year. Referring to Grassley’s approach to the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy, Judge told Noble,

“Iowans have always been straight shooters, and up until the recent time I would have said the same thing about Chuck,” Judge said. […]

“I don’t like this double-speak,” Judge said. “I don’t like this deliberate obstruction of the process. I think Chuck Grassley owes us better. He’s been with us a long time. Maybe he’s been with us too long.”

To qualify for the Democratic primary ballot, Judge would need to submit nominating papers with the Secretary of State’s Office by March 18, three weeks from today. That doesn’t leave much time to collect at least 2,104 signatures, including minimum amounts in at least ten Iowa counties. But Judge could pull together a campaign quickly, having won three statewide elections–for secretary of agriculture in 1998 and 2002 and on the ticket with Chet Culver in 2006.

Three other Democrats are seeking the nomination to run against Grassley: State Senator Rob Hogg, former State Senator Tom Fiegen, and former State Representative Bob Krause. Former State Representative Ray Zirkelbach launched a U.S. Senate campaign in November but ended his campaign last month, Zirkelbach confirmed by phone this morning.

Dozens of Democratic state lawmakers endorsed Hogg in January. I enclose the full list below. Any comments about the Senate race are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Rebecca Tuetken notes, “Patty Judge does meet one apparent Iowa requirement: she told @SenatorHarkin ’08 steak fry that she can castrate a calf.” Truly a classic moment for Judge, when Joni Ernst was still the little-known Montgomery County auditor.

January 26 press release from Rob Hogg for U.S. Senate:

Senator Rob Hogg Announces Endorsements for U.S. Senate Campaign from Iowa Legislators

DES MOINES, IA – State Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids), candidate for the United States Senate in 2016, announced legislator endorsements Monday at a ceremony with legislative colleagues at the State Capitol in Des Moines.

“I am honored by the endorsements today from my state legislative colleagues, because these are the people who know me best doing the job of a legislator,” Hogg said. “I appreciate their confidence in my ability to do the job as a U.S. Senator and to help make Congress work again for our people, our country, and our future.”

Hogg has served 14 years in the Iowa Legislature. He is now in his third term in the state Senate after two terms in the Iowa House. He is known for his accomplishments for renewable energy, flood recovery, hazard mitigation, clean water, education, public health including mental health, and public safety.

“As a state legislator, I know that government is not a debating society, or a popularity contest, or a lifetime achievement award,” Hogg said. “It is a practical tool we have to make life better for people and to address real issues, or in the words of our Constitution, to promote the general welfare and form a more perfect union.”

The following state legislators endorsed Hogg’s candidacy for the United States Senate:

Senator Tony Bisignano, Des Moines
Senator Joe Bolkcom, Iowa City
Senator Tod Bowman, Maquoketa
Senator Chris Brase, Muscatine
Senator Tom Courtney, Burlington
Senator Jeff Danielson, Cedar Falls
Senator Dick Dearden, Des Moines
Senator Bill Dotzler, Waterloo
Senator Bob Dvorsky, Coralville
Senator Mike Gronstal, Council Bluffs
Senator Rita Hart, Wheatland
Senator Wally Horn, Cedar Rapids
Senator Pam Jochum, Dubuque
Senator Kevin Kinney, Oxford
Senator Liz Mathis, Robins
Senator Matt McCoy, Des Moines
Senator Janet Petersen, Des Moines
Senator Herman Quirmbach, Ames
Senator Amanda Ragan, Mason City
Senator Brian Schoenjahn, Arlington
Senator Steve Sodders, State Center
Senator Rich Taylor, Mt. Pleasant
Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm, Cresco
Representative Marti Anderson, Des Moines
Representative Bruce Bearinger, Oelwein
Representative Liz Bennett, Cedar Rapids
Representative Timi Brown-Powers, Waterloo
Representative Dennis Cohoon, Burlington
Representative David Dawson, Sioux City
Representative Nancy Dunkel, Dyersville
Representative Abby Finkenauer, Dubuque

Representative John Forbes, Urbandale
Representative Ruth Ann Gaines, Des Moines
Representative Mary Gaskill, Ottumwa
Representative Chris Hall, Sioux City
Representative Lisa Heddens, Ames
Representative Bruce Hunter, Des Moines
Representative Charles Isenhart, Dubuque
Representative Dave Jacoby, Coralville
Representative Jerry Kearns, Keokuk
Representative Dan Kelley, Newton
Representative Bob Kressig, Cedar Falls
Representative Vicki Lensing, Iowa City
Representative Jim Lykam, Davenport
Representative Mary Mascher, Iowa City
Representative Charlie McConkey, Council Bluffs
Representative Brian Meyer, Des Moines
Representative Helen Miller, Fort Dodge
Representative Jo Oldson, Des Moines
Representative Rick Olson, Des Moines
Representative Scott Ourth, Ackworth
Representative Patti Ruff, McGregor
Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt, Cedar Rapids
Representative Mark Smith, Marshalltown
Representative Art Staed, Cedar Rapids
Representative Sharon Steckman, Mason City
Representative Sally Stutsman, Riverside
Representative Todd Taylor, Cedar Rapids
Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Ames
Representative Cindy Winckler, Davenport
Representative Mary Wolfe, Clinton

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  • Any of four directions

    Patty is the one who told critics of stinking hog manure pits that they could leave Iowa in any of four directions. She pushed the bill that made them immune to nuisance lawsuits but which was later overturned by courts.

    She is as sold out and as tone deaf as Hillary.

    She still thinks Grassley is a straight shooter? She must have missed Grassley’s charge that Obama’s death panels were about to pull the plug on Grandma. She could be literally deaf as well as tone deaf.

    • we go way back, iowavoter

      From possibly the very first post I wrote at Bleeding Heartland–certainly one of the first.

      During his last meeting of the commission, Thicke blasted the Culver/Judge administration for deferring “to the dictates of agribusiness special interests who lobbied for our removal” and told a revealing story about one of his neighbors:

      “A few days ago, it became clearer to me where at least part of the Culver/Judge administration is coming from. I spoke with one of my neighbors who is proposing to build a 4,800-hog confinement about a mile and a half upwind from me. When I talked to him about it he said Patty Judge is his ‘champion’ and the reason he is planning on going through with this in spite of the objections of his neighbors. He said Patty Judge told him that Iowa is an agricultural state and anyone who doesn’t like it can leave in any of four directions.”

  • Yes, let's talk about who can beat Grassley

    Why should Patty Judge enter this race at the last minute? Because she’s a more likely winner than any of the three men already running, or because she’s a woman? Once upon a time I hoped Jean Lloyd-Jones would become Iowa’s first female US senator. I supported her as I’ve supported every other Grassley challenger over the decades. This time I have paid most attention to Tom Fiegen. I like Tom a lot, and I’ve donated to his campaign. I have followed Bob Krause, too, and could support him if he were the nominee but don’t see him as a likely winner. I don’t know much about Hogg, but his list of endorsers is impressive and gives me pause. Aren’t these three guys enough choices? I enjoyed Patty as a party cheerleader during the Chet Culver years, but I don’t yet picture her as my voice in Washington. The CAFO quote alone is enough to leave me cold. What am I missing here?

    • the argument is

      that Patty Judge has much better name recognition and has already won statewide elections, so she would be better positioned to beat Grassley. It may or may not be true, but that is the idea that has some Iowa Democrats excited about getting her to run.

      I plan to vote for Hogg regardless but see no harm in a spirited Democratic primary.

  • she could win a primary

    but there is no way I would see her winning a general against Grassley.

    the only Dem that could maybe take down Grassley is Tommy V.