Grassley beats Conlin for sixth consecutive Senate term


Chuck Grassley addresses a crowd after taking the Senate seat for the state of Iowa over his Democratic opponent Roxanne Conlin.

Dylan Boyle

WEST DES MOINES — Iowa voters want Sen. Chuck Grassley to go back to work for six more years.

Grassley beat out Democratic challenger Roxanne Conlin, of Des Moines, on Tuesday, winning his sixth consecutive term in the U.S. Senate.

Grassley, who won 70 percent of the vote against Arthur Small in 2004, led Conlin in the polls throughout the campaign.

“The office I have belongs to the people of Iowa, it’s a public trust that I hold,” Grassley told supporters shortly before 10 p.m. in West Des Moines. “You’ve hired me to work for you for six more years … and I’ll never forget who I work for.”

Republican wins on Tuesday, Grassley said, show that voters are unhappy with the current presidential administration and the United States cannot “spend and tax our way into prosperity.”

Eric Woolson, spokesman for the Grassley campaign, said the campaign’s win Tuesday was the result of Grassley’s record for the last 30 years in office.

“I think it is an indication of how hard he has worked, not just during the campaign, but certainly during his last six years in office and throughout his 30 years in the Senate,” he said. “Iowans recognize somebody that is working for them and that is clearly what he is doing. So on a night that has been an anti-incumbent night, to have him win by this kind of a margin really is an indication of the respect Iowans have for him which is a result of the respect he has for them.”

Grassley said ISU students will benefit from having Grassley in office because he worked to include a tax break on tuition in the Bush tax cuts and has tried to keep the Pell Grants well funded.

“I think it’s going to benefit them because of the tax policies I established that are going to run out at the end of the year,” Grassley said. “In the tax bill of 2001, when I was chairman of the committee, we established the deduction of college tuition. We enhanced the deduction of interest on student loans. Those are in the tax bill that will expire at the end of this year.”

Grassley said when he returns to Congress he is going to try and preserve the Bush tax cuts into the future.