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State Lawmaker Jim Carlin Announces Run For U.S. Senate

Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, has served in the Iowa senate since winning a special election in 2017.
John Pemble
IPR file
Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, has served in the Iowa Senate since winning a special election in 2017.

Sen. Jim Carlin of Sioux City announced on Monday he will run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by fellow Republican Chuck Grassley. The decision from Carlin comes before Iowa's senior U.S. senator has said whether he will seek an eighth term.

Republican state Sen. Jim Carlin of Sioux City delivered a speech Monday morning to kick off his campaign for the U.S. Senate at the American Legion Hall in Sargent Bluff.

Carlin did not mention Sen. Chuck Grassley's name during his speech, but said Congress failed Americans by certifying Joe Biden as the Electoral College winner without first investigating former President Donald Trump's allegations of election fraud.

"Never again should the political class abdicate its responsibility to investigate and hold hearings when millions of Americans have doubt about the legitimate winner of an election," Carlin said. "The people we relied on to tell us the truth let us down by not seeking the truth."

Grassley voted to certify Biden's Electoral College win on Jan. 6.

Carlin is a 58-year-old trial lawyer and Army veteran who won a special election for his Iowa Senate seat in 2017 and was re-elected in 2018. He served in the Iowa House for one year prior to his successful state Senate elections.

Carlin grabbed state news headlines last week for a bill he introduced in the Iowa Senate that would require the board of regents to survey its university employees to find out their political affiliations.

Grassley has not said whether he will run for re-election in 2022 but Republican Party of Iowa chairperson Jeff Kaufmann has said he would be happy if the senior U.S. senator did choose to run again.

"Sen. Grassley has made it very clear that he will announce a decision regarding his re-election in due time," Kaufmann said in a statement to IPR News. "If [Grassley] decides to retire, I suspect there will be a robust primary on the GOP side."

Radio Iowa contributed to this story.

Clay Masters is the senior politics reporter for MPR News.