Sen. Chuck Grassley filed a statement of candidacy for the 2022 U.S. Senate election with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday morning. The senior senator said during a town hall meeting in Greene County on Feb. 17 that it would still be months before he decided if he would run for his eighth term in the Senate.
The filing does not mean that Grassley will definitely run. But it does supplant his 2017 statement of candidacy, which he filed following his last reelection campaign in 2016. It is standard practice for professional politicians such as Grassley — who has been in elected office at the state or federal level since 1959 — to file FEC paperwork following an election victory so they can immediately begin fundraising again.
According to the FEC financial summary for Grassley, he raised $1,598,044 between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2020.
Last month, the Hawkeye Fund filed its statement of organization with the FEC. In addition to supporting Grassley, the Hawkeye Fund serves as the representative committee of a joint fundraising venture between the Hawkeye PAC (created 19 years ago to support Grassley’s 2002 reelection bid), Grassley Committee, Inc. (the senator’s principal campaign committee), the Republican Party of Iowa and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
Any money raised by Grassley that is donated to the Hawkeye Fund can also be used by the other members of the joint fundraising effort. In other words, if Grassley decides not to run, that money will still be available to the Republican Party of Iowa and the NRSC, which is the main party committee supporting Republican candidates for the Senate nationwide.
In his 2016 reelection campaign, the senator had the Grassley Hawkeye Fund, but its only participants were the Hawkeye PAC and Grassley Committee, Inc.
If Grassley does decide to run again, he will be 89 years old on Election Day 2022. As he has in the past, Grassley said at his event in Greene County that the state of his health will be a major factor in his decision, since he doesn’t want to be enfeebled as he serves out a term that would last until he is 95 years old.
Grassley assured the town hall meeting audience he is currently in robust health. He cited his ability to do pushups.
“I can do 20 right now,” he said.