Bob Krause, who represented Burlington in the Iowa House in the 1970s, announced on Thursday he is running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate to challenge seven-term incumbent Sen. Chuck Grassley in next year’s election.
“Win or lose, I will elevate the battle of ideas,” Krause said, standing near the Mississippi River as it flows past Burlington in an almost seven-and-a-half minute campaign video posted on YouTube.
This will be Krause’s third run for the U.S. Senate. In 2010, he finished second in the Democratic primary behind former U.S. Attorney Roxanne Conlin, who went on to lose to Grassley in the general election. Six years later, Krause finished last in a field of four candidates in the Democratic primary. The winner, former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, was defeated by Grassley in the general election.
At 71, Krause can’t argue that generational change is needed, as two younger Democratic candidates, Abby Finkenaur and Dave Muhlbauer, are in the running as well. But early in his video, he does remind people Grassley is older than he is, and has been in office for a very long time.
“I was 8 years old when Grassley was first elected to the Iowa House, and I actually served with him for two years and then I saw him move on to the U.S. House and the United States Senate,” Krause said. “And 41 years later, I can tell you that those 41 years were not good for Iowa and they were not good for the nation.”
In his video, Krause issues an almost apocalyptic warning about the need to stand against “the gathering storm against democracy” and the “flood waters of angry venom.” He said we can keep “our democracy from destruction” if we “restore Iowa Nice to our political fabric.”
“It’s not everything, but it’s a start,” Krause said about the restoration of Iowa Nice. He defined that supposed state quality as, “A recognition that people deserve decency and fair and honest treatment.”
According to Krause, this approach can help undo the damage done by Republican attempts to undermine confidence in elections and bolster Donald Trump’s claim he won the 2020 election, and violent action as the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He calls the new laws placing restrictions on voters and election officials passed in Republican-controlled states, including Iowa, a “slow-motion legal coup.”
Krause said he is running for Senate again to help save Iowa and the entire country “from a dictatorial future; from impending climate change that will devastate Iowa’s agriculture; from environmental degradation of our water, our land and our wildlife; from economic elitism that threatens the well-being of our middle class, our working poor and also destroys capitalism itself; and from international threats that may bring us to unwanted wars of devastating proportions.”
He promised to further explain his ideas in the coming weeks.
Bob Krause was born in Algona, Iowa, in 1950, and grew up on his family’s farm. He is currently the president of the Veterans National Recovery Center, a Burlington-based nonprofit he started in 2010 to assist veterans with PTSD and other service-related disorders in adjusting to civilian life. Krause served in the Army Reserve for 28 years, retiring as a colonel in 2000.
He represented Burlington in the Iowa House from 1973 to ’78. Krause decided to run for State Treasurer instead of his House seat in 1978, but lost to Republican incumbent Maurice Baringer in a landslide.
Krause worked in transportation planning for most of his career, at both government agencies and in the private sector. He also worked as a military contractor.
Krause is the fourth Democrat to enter the race for the 2022 Democratic Senate nomination. The other declared candidates are former one-term U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, former one-term Crawford County Supervisor Dave Muhlbauer and Dr. Glenn Hurst, who currently serves on the city council in Minden (pop. 600) in Pottawattamie County.