Iowa’s long-time liberal Dem Sen. Tom Harkin decided to make an early announcement that he wouldn’t seek another term in 2014, creating a fairly wide open race for the seat he has occupied since 1985.
Now his fellow and even older and longer-serving Iowa senator Charles Grassley, a conservative Republican, decided to make a very early announcement, revealed in the Des Moines Register today, he will seek reelection in when his current term expires in 2016.
If he wins, and the starting conventional wisdom is that he will be heavily favored, Grassley will be 83 when his term begins and 89 when it ends. As of this year, Grassley has been in the Senate 32 years and in Congress for 38.
It’s funny, in the supposed age of red and blue states, how many states elect two senators of different parties. I count 19 that currently have a bipartisan Senate delegation.
Of course Iowa is classified as a purplish swing state. But for almost 30 years, it’s been electing and re-electing the same two senators, even though they disagree on most of the isues that separate liberals and conservatives.