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HAYWORTH: As holiday season nears, Grassley planning 2016 (copy)

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Some Siouxlanders are still firming up plans for Christmas and New Years Day, figuring out which friends and relatives they can accommodate. At the same time, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is already laying out his 99-county tour for 2016, which he announced Wednesday will start on Jan. 6.

Some first-year lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and U.S. Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, are out with recaps of their first year. Grassley is making plans for stops in eastern Iowa.

Grassley is considered the gold standard for how to keep contact with the people he represents. Some Iowa lawmakers and candidates have taken on his 99-county tour practice, and they readily point to Grassley as the originator.

Grassley, 82, takes the tour seriously, typically allotting an hour for a town hall format to hear out Iowans as to their chief issues at hand. Moreover, he's prompt on those hugely packed days, when he may stop, overwhelmingly on time, in five or more events. So, it is not surprising that Grassley has already set his January kickoff events, which begin in Grundy Center.

"I’m one half of the process and the people of Iowa are the other half. You can’t have representative government without dialogue between elected officials and the people we represent,” Grassley said in a release.

Grassley is up for re-election in 2016 for another six-year term. So far, three Democrats, Rob Hogg, Bob Krause and Tom Fiegen, are vying to advance out of a June primary to compete against Grassley.

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