When I spoke to Rob Hogg about his July 8 announcement, he emphasized it was an exploratory committee to consider a run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Chuck Grassley. If Hogg was precise about framing the discussion, it matches his personality, and represents a desire to be clear when it comes to elections and the laws surrounding them.
Hogg has little to lose and everything to gain by running for U.S. Senate. He was re-elected to a four year term to the state senate in 2014, so his seat is secure. Already well known in Iowa as chairman of the senate judiciary committee, Hogg has a track record that goes beyond his signature issue of acting on climate change. Even if Hogg loses to Grassley, a challenge has the potential to burnish his credentials as a state-wide politician, and puts Grassley in a position where he has to organize and spend some of his campaign war chest locally. Hogg may win if he runs.
Before the 2015 legislative session, Hogg traveled around the country to promote his book America’s Climate Century: What Climate Change Means for America in the 21st Century and What Americans Can Do About It. Connections made on the book tour may translate into financial contributions to his exploratory campaign. He also toured much of Iowa speaking on climate change.
Mitigating the causes of climate change and dealing with its real world effects is Hogg’s signature issue. In a letter to colleagues in the environmental movement he wrote, “I am considering this candidacy, in part, because I believe it is long past time for Congress to act on climate change. By running, I would give voters a chance to vote for climate action. As I said in my release announcing the formation of the exploratory committee, ‘If we had a Congress that worked better, we could confront the challenge of our century–climate change–through solutions that work for our economy, our health, and our environment.’”
There is expected to be a Democratic primary for U.S. Senate next year. Hogg hasn’t formally announced, and plans to use the time raising money and discussing issues with party activists, two necessary prerequisites to making a decision to run.
Here is the text of Hogg’s announcement:
Hogg forms Exploratory Committee for possible U.S. Senate run
CEDAR RAPIDS–Today, I am announcing that I have formed an exploratory committee to consider becoming a candidate for the United States Senate in 2016. Like many Iowans, I believe we need Congress to work better for all of our citizens and our country’s future. If we had a Congress that worked better, we could:
> Build a vibrant, full-employment economy that works for all Americans.
> Improve public health and public safety through prevention, prevention, and more prevention.
> Strengthen Social Security and Medicare and fulfill our commitments to seniors, veterans, and people living with disabilities.
> Confront the challenge of our century – climate change – through solutions that work for our economy, our health, and our environment.
In order to get Congress to work better, Iowans know it will require new leadership. Iowans also know it will require significant reform in the way we conduct our political campaigns.
Over the coming weeks, I look forward to visiting with Iowans across our state, to have a conversation about our Congress, our country, and our future, as I make a decision about running for the United States Senate.
For more information, please visit http://www.robhogg.org, email Senator Hogg at firstname.lastname@example.org, write the Rob Hogg Exploratory Committee at P.O. Box 1361, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-1361, or call the exploratory committee at 319-360-3401.