DES MOINES — State Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, said he is taking inspiration from former state Sen. Joni Ernst’s successful 2014 jump to the U.S. Senate in filing his 2016 nominating papers to seek the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Chuck Grassley.
Hogg, 49, turned in nominating petitions bearing more than 13,000 petition signatures at the Iowa Secretary of State’s office on Monday. Hogg likely will face a primary in June, with Democrats Bob Krause, Tom Fiegen, Patty Judge, Bob Krause and Ray Zirkelbach also expressing interest in the seat.
Hogg told reporters Monday that Grassley, 82, is “a living legend” in Iowa politics, having been in elective office since 1958 and in Washington, D.C., for 42 years.
However, he said, the question Iowa voters must answer in 2016 is who is going to do the best job for Iowa and the country over the next six years, given the partisan dysfunction that has plagued Washington in recent years.
Grassley’s current role in denying a hearing for President Barack Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy shows there’s a need for “new leadership” in the Senate, Hogg said.
“Is there an uphill nature of the race? Sure, there is. He’s got a 42-year, $4 million head start,” Hogg said. “But it’s not about money, it’s not a lifetime achievement award. It’s about who’s going to do the best job making Congress work, and I think I would do a good job of that.”
The period for Iowa’s state and federal office seekers to file their nominating paperwork began Monday and runs through 5 p.m. March 18. Nominating petitions for those offices must be filed with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.