Jun 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Michael Franken wins primary to take on Chuck Grassley for Iowa Senate seat

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Michael Franken bested former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer to score the Democratic nomination for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat on Tuesday and will run against Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley in November, per the AP.

Why it matters: Grassley, one of the longest-serving members in Senate history, has held the seat since 1981 and has never received less than 60% of the vote in his re-election bids.

Catch up quick: Franken lost in the Democratic 2020 primaries for a U.S. Senate seat ultimately won by incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst.

  • In this year’s race, he positioned himself as a candidate who could “dial down political tension” to achieve movement on both global and domestic issues.
  • He defeated Finkenauer, one of the most prominent Democrats in Iowa. Her run was nearly cut short this year when Republicans argued she hadn’t collected enough valid signatures on her nominating petition.

What’s next: Franken and Grassley will square off in the general election on Nov. 8.

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