If new state legislative maps are approved, many Iowa lawmakers will be forced to run against each other in redrawn districts. Among them, Representative Pat Grassley of New Hartford would have to face a fellow Republican legislator in a primary. His grandfather, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, says he can only offer a few nuggets of wisdom.
“Pat’s gotta’ make up his mind what he wants to do,” Grassley says. “I always advise people that if you would like to stay in politics, you oughta’ take on any challenges that come to you. You’ve gotta’ be the right person at the right time at the right place and if you leave politics, it’s a little harder to get back in.”
Under the proposed new legislative maps, Pat Grassley would be in the same district with Representative Annette Sweeney, a Republican from Alden. The elder Grassley says his grandson will make the choice that’s best for himself and his family. “He is pondering whether or not he ought to go into a primary but I believe that he’s determined to do it, based on his own judgment, not mine,” Grassley says. “I just give peripheral advice.”
The younger Grassley, a 27-year-old farmer, has served in the Iowa House since 2006. The elder Grassley also started his political career in the state legislature and was first elected to the Iowa House in 1959. Senator Grassley says he has every confidence in his grandson, Pat.
Grassley says, “He is very much inclined to want to continue to serve the people of Iowa in the state legislature, moreso in the House than in the Senate.” New maps were unveiled last week for Iowa’s legislative and congressional districts, based on changes in the state’s population found in the 2010 Census. They can’t make changes, but Iowa legislators can either accept or reject the maps in a vote that’s expected later this month, following a series of public hearings.