IA-Sen: Medicare for All drives Glenn Hurst's campaign

A third Democrat joined the race for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat on July 29. Dr. Glenn Hurst made clear that one issue in particular is driving his campaign.

“I went back to school and became a doctor because I saw a need in the rural communities I love and call home,” Hurst said in a news release. “I’ve had a front-row seat to the tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying for care, drowning providers in paperwork when we should be with our patients. I’m running for the U.S. Senate because Iowans deserve better. We deserve Medicare for All.”

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Iowa Senate primary has new front-runner, more level playing field

Former U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer made it official on July 22: she’s running for the U.S. Senate. And even though signs point to long-serving Senator Chuck Grassley seeking another term in 2022, at least two other people are poised to compete against Finkenauer and Dave Muhlbauer for the Democratic nomination.

Finkenauer will carry several advantages into the primary campaign. But compared to Iowa’s last Democratic race for U.S. Senate, the contenders will be playing on a much more level field.

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Don't bet on Chuck Grassley retiring

Five U.S. Senate Republicans have confirmed they won’t seek re-election in 2022. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama reported no individual or political action committee contributions during the first six months of 2021. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania reported $365 in total contributions during the same period. Rob Portman of Ohio–$23,635.83. Richard Burr of North Carolina–$140,764. Roy Blunt of Missouri–$194,149.74.

In contrast, Iowa’s senior Senator Chuck Grassley–who has served in elective office continuously since 1959–raised $682,379.79 in contributions from January through June, Federal Election Commission filings show. His campaign brought in $354,679.79 from individuals and $327,700 from a long list of PACs. He also transferred $193,811.28 from other committees to his main campaign account, which reported $2,549,206.27 cash on hand as of June 30.

Grassley refunded more campaign contributions ($11,400 in the first quarter, $20,775 in the second) than rival Republican candidate Jim Carlin (a state senator from Sioux City) raised from individuals other than himself. Carlin’s latest FEC disclosure shows his Senate campaign spent more than it brought in from April through June and closed out the second quarter with $8,639.20 cash on hand.

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J.D. Scholten to help Democrats "up our game in rural America"

“Right now, Democratic policies are very popular,” said J.D. Scholten in a video revealing his future plans. “However, they’re being drowned [out] by mis- and disinformation. We have to remember that we’re just a handful of states and under 100,000 votes from a Donald Trump second term and a Republican-controlled House and Senate.”

Many Iowa Democrats–including Scholten’s own parents–saw the two-time Congressional candidate as a possible 2022 contender for U.S. Senate. Others encouraged him to run for governor. But Scholten announced on July 13 that he won’t run for any elected office next year. Instead, he will serve as the executive director of RuralVote.org, a super-PAC with a mission “to improve the Democratic brand in rural communities and empower local advocates to battle misinformation in their communities.”

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Grassley's credentials suggest he'll be GOP choice for Senate

Herb Strentz: Chuck Grassley could have sought to quell Republicans’ anger and the turn to violence on January 6 by speaking out early and honestly rather than “winking” at the Big Lie. -promoted by Laura Belin

If Senator Chuck Grassley opts to run for re-election in 2022, it will be because he does not have the courage or the conscience to not run.

That turns the tables on what we expect from our elected public servants. But nowadays, lacking courage and conscience seems the key to appeasing Donald Trump and satisfying the Republican base. Today’s GOP demands its acolytes swallow the “Big Lie” that Trump won the 2020 election and ignore “The Big Truth” that Trump lost the popular vote by more than 7 million ballots.

Sadly, it is no longer necessary to distinguish between the Republican Party and Trump followers — they have become one and the same.

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A worrying headline for Chuck Grassley

The headline certainly caught my attention. “In new Iowa Poll, nearly two-thirds say it’s time for someone new,” the Des Moines Register noted.

Senator Chuck Grassley is 87. Among currently serving senators, only Dianne Feinstein is older (by about two months). The Social Security Administration estimates an 87-year-old has a life expectancy of five years. If re-elected to a six-year term at age 89, Grassley’s odds of dying while in office are significant. It makes sense that many would answer this question this way.

So is Iowa’s senior senator really in trouble?

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