Retiring Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (D-Iowa) says Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonOMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' America tensions with Russia won’t end after Putin’s gone Hannity attacks NY Times after report says he advises Trump MORE should start visiting Iowa more if she plans on launching a 2016 presidential bid.

"If she's going to run, she should start getting out here," Harkin told the Quad-City Times on Friday.

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He touted Clinton as a strong candidate that "would bring a lot of experience and knowledge that we haven't had in that White House for a long long time. "I mean just from the git go ... I think she's proven herself over all these years," Harkin added.

The 30-year Senate Democratic veteran, who himself ran for president, also encouraged Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren builds her brand with 2020 down the road AACR’s march on Washington Obama to attend Pittsburgh Steelers owner's funeral MORE to stump in his state.

The race to replace Harkin in the Senate is heating up. Rep. Bruce Braley is the only Democrat in the race so far. Republicans include State Sen. Joni Ernst, businessman Mark Jacobs and former attorney general Matt Whitaker.