WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said on Friday he would run for another term in next year’s parliamentary election, increasing the party’s chances of retaining its seat amid a heavily divided chamber.
Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator and longest-serving senator from Iowa, has also helped conservatives enter the federal court system, including the United States Supreme Court.
He is running for his eighth term in the now split 50-50 House, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tiebreaker to give Democrats tight control.
“I’m running for re-election – a lot more to do, for Iowa. We ask and will work for your support. Do you want to join us? ” he said in a message on Twitter.
The Republicans, who lost control of the Senate in January following a special election in Georgia, aim to retake the upper house and the House of Representatives next year to challenge U.S. Democratic President Joe Biden, who won in 2020. Grassley’s seat is seen as a “solid” Republican, according to Cook’s non-partisan political report.
Grassley is the leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he previously chaired when the party controlled the Senate under former Republican Presidents Donald Trump and Democrat Barack Obama and helped reshape the country’s highest court with three more judges solidly conservative.
He played a central role in the controversial confirmation of Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh by the United States Supreme Court in 2018.
Earlier, in 2016, he embraced the decision of then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not to follow through on Obama’s appointment of centrist Merrick Garland to fill a Supreme Court seat, a unprecedented action in US history. That left Trump to fill the post – left vacant for over a year – in 2017 with Neil Gorsuch.
In 2020, Grassley was no longer president but was on the committee when the Senate upheld Trump’s third Supreme Court appointment, Amy Coney Barrett.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by Philippa Fletcher)