Capital Clicks

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley wins primary race for re-election bid

By: - June 7, 2022 8:42 pm

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, attended the Republican 4th Congressional District convention in Carroll on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley won his Republican primary Tuesday against State Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, in Iowa’s June 7 election.

The Associated Press called Grassley’s race at 8:27 p.m. He earned 73.5% of votes counted.

Grassley, 88, has served as a senator representing Iowa since 1981, and has won seven re-election campaigns over the past four decades in office. If he wins again in the general election, Grassley will be 95  at the end of his eighth term.

The Senate president pro tempore was largely expected to win his party challenge in the primary. Carlin campaigned as a further-right candidate than Grassley, criticizing the senator’s vote to certify the 2020 presidential election. He also called for the federal government to step up on issues like border security and reducing the national debt.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, congratulated Grassley on his win in a Tuesday statement.

“Chuck wakes up each morning – a bit earlier than most to run – thinking about how he can fight to ensure Iowa continues to be a great place for farmers, families, and job creators to succeed for generations,” Scott said in the statement. “I am proud to continue my support for Chuck this election cycle, and I look forward to him being the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee when we take back the Senate in November!”

While Carlin campaigned as a pro-Trump candidate in the primary, Grassley received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Now, Grassley will face Mike Franken, the winner of the Democratic Senate primary, in the Nov. 8 general election. The incumbent senator comes into the race with over $4.7 million in his war chest, and kicked off campaign advertisements in late May.

While Grassley remains popular, the March Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll showed declining support — 45% of Iowans approve of the way the Republican senator is doing his job, while 43% disapprove and 12% are not sure. Those were slightly higher disapproval numbers than in the November Iowa Poll.

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Robin Opsahl
Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. They have experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald.