SERGEANT BLUFF -- State Sen. Jim Carlin (R-Sioux City) will announce on Monday his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Chuck Grassley.
Documents were filed with the Federal Election Committee Friday to organize a "Carlin for US Senate" election group.
Carlin, 58, an attorney by trade and a conservative state senator who has focused his energies on tax and budgetary reform, made headlines this week when he proposed a bill requiring Iowa's Board of Regents to survey the state's university employees to determine their political affiliation.
His candidacy was first reported Friday by the Iowa Standard, a conservative news website. Carlin told the Iowa Standard that he has "represented the forgotten man for the last 30 years" and warned that the country is experiencing an erosion of freedoms.
“I think a lot of people right now are very concerned about the direction our country appears to be on,” he told the Iowa Standard. “Our Founders intended that America be defined by freedom. America is freedom. That’s why our Founders wrote the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. This was to be a country where we limit government, we respect people and we recognize their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Carlin declined to comment for this article, referring to his statements in the Iowa Standard. He told the Journal his official announcement will be Monday at the American Legion Post in Sergeant Bluff, though it's not clear what time Monday the announcement will be made.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, meanwhile, has yet to announce whether he'll run in the 2022 midterms. He's 87 years old, the second-oldest member of the Senate, and would be in his mid-90s by the time his six-year term would end if he were re-elected in 2022.
"Sen. Grassley has made it very clear that he will announce a decision regarding his re-election in due time. If he decides to retire, I suspect there will be a robust primary on the GOP side. I think what you're seeing at the moment is, out of respect for Sen. Grassley's years of service to Iowans, people are allowing him the space to make that decision before declaring their candidacy," Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said.
Carlin was elected to the Iowa Senate District 3 seat in 2017 to fill a seat formerly held by Sen. Bill Anderson, who had left to take an economic development position in Cherokee. He held the Senate seat in the 2018 elections against Democrat David Dawson. For about a year before he entered the State Senate, he represented District 6 in the Iowa House.