WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced Friday that he plans to run for re-election next year, a decision that boosts the GOP’s chances of retaking control of the Senate.
Grassley, 88, shared the news on Twitter early Friday with a GIF of him running.
"It's 4 a.m. in Iowa so I'm running," Grassley said. "I do that 6 days a week. Before I start the day I want you to know what Barbara and I have decided. I'm running for re-election — a lot more to do, for Iowa. We ask and will work for your support."
Grassley, who is the oldest GOP senator, said in a press release Friday that Iowans have encouraged him to continue his work representing them, and “know how seriously I take my work representing them in the U.S. Senate to solve problems, which is why I never miss a vote.”
The Iowa Republican will be running for his eighth term in the Senate, having first been elected in 1980. Recent polling shows him leading former Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer by a sizable margin.
Republicans were hoping not to add another open seat to the list of those they already have to defend. Five Senate Republicans have announced they will not be running for re-election next year, leaving open seats in Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The GOP will have to defend 20 seats altogether in the 2022 midterm elections.
The Senate is currently split 50-50, but Democrats hold the majority because of Vice President Kamala Harris holding the power to break ties.