Photos: Democratic Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer rallies group at Sanctuary Pub

Larry Phan and Caleb McCullough

Abby Finkenauer, an Iowa Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, told a packed Sanctuary Pub on Thursday that Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has been in office too long. 

Finkenauer is the highest-profile Democrat running in the primary to replace Grassley, the oldest and longest-serving Republican in the Senate.  

Finkenauer told the crowd that Grassley, after nearly 50 years in Congress, has become entrenched in the Republican Party and has not been “held accountable.”

“47 years in Washington, D.C. is too damn long for anyone,” she said. 

Grassley has won his last six reelection bids handily, garnering more than 60 percent of the vote each time. He’s favored to win in 2022, but his approval rating fell in the last Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, with 45 percent of Iowa voters saying they approved of his work in the Senate. 

Finkenauer said she plans to travel the state talking to independent and Republican voters to convince them to vote for her. 

“We have to do the work, talking to Iowans, talking to folks here about the country we could have, about what our state could look like,” she said.

The crowd gathered at the Sanctuary included many prominent Iowa City Democrats and politicos, including Johnson County supervisors, Iowa City City Councilors, and county Democratic Party members. 

“In the Senate, she will continue to be a voice for working people and hold these politicians accountable,” said Mazahir Salih, a former Iowa City City Councilor and executive director of the Eastern Iowa Center for Worker Justice.