Three Democrats who hope to unseat Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in next year’s election courted party activists this weekend in Des Moines. 

Roxanne Conlin, a prominent Des Moines attorney, announced earlier this month that she’s running for the senate.  Conlin hosted a reception before the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraiser Saturday night. 

“After 50 years in elected office, it’s time for him to take a rest, don’t you think?” Conlin asked her crowd of supporters, adding later: “We can send Charles Grassley back to the farm.”

Conlin and the two men who’re competing for the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination spoke at a gathering later Saturday night in downtown Des Moines. Tom Fiegen, a lawyer from Clarence who’s a former state legislator, suggested many voters still remember Conlin’s 1982 race for governor.

“A lot of the activists in Iowa say, ‘Been there, done that’ with Roxanne.  They feel like she’s yesterday’s news,” Fiegen said Saturday.  “We’ll see if Roxanne can buy it, but I have got to say, I’m still getting lots of love from the activists and grassroots and I plan to hit every county in the state — and we’ll see what the voters decide.” 

Bob Krause of Fairfield said Saturday night that he feels a bit “ambushed” by Conlin. 

“I have been out there campaigning for nine months and so I’ve got a lot of friends, a lot of people that I’ve seen in nine months,” Krause said.  “But she does have substantial personal assets, so what we can’t make with money we will make with message and meeting the people.”

Krause is a former state legislator who ran for state treasurer in the 1970s.