Rob Hogg

Rob Hogg

Today is the first day Iowa Republican and Democratic candidates may turn in the paperwork to place their names on the June Primary ballot.

Democrat Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids is a candidate for the U.S. Senate and he turned in 13,000 petition signatures this morning. That’s more than six times as many petition signatures than were required.

“That’s really exciting for me because I think that’s a sign that there are a lot of Iowans who want congress to work again for our people, our country and our future,” Hogg says.

Hogg faces a likely Democratic Primary, with 2010 U.S. Senate candidates Bob Krause and Tom Fiegen indicating they plan to run again. In addition, former State Representative Ray Zirkelbach and former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge have said they are thinking about running as well.

The victor of the Democratic Primary will face Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in November. Hogg says he respects Grassley’s “long-time career,” but Hogg says the 2016 election shouldn’t be a “lifetime achievement award” for Grassley.

“He’s been in Washington, D.C. representing Iowans for 42 years. He’s been in elected office since 1958 in our state,” Hogg says. “…The question comes down to (this): Who’s going to do the best job for Iowa and our country over the next six years? And with the dysfunction in congress right now, Senator Grassley — despite his years of experience — has not been able to fix that problem and we need to be able to fix that problem for the good of our country.”

Hogg says Grassley’s role in denying a hearing for President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy shows there’s a need for “new leadership” in the senate.

Democrats who hope to run for the U.S. Senate must collect just over 2000 petition signatures to qualify for the primary ballot. U.S. Senate candidates from both parties must also collect a minimum number of petition signatures in at least 10 counties, to show they’re a statewide rather than regional candidate.