Former Iowa lieutenant governor mulls challenge to Grassley
© Lauren Schneiderman

A former Iowa lieutenant governor and secretary of Agriculture is weighing a run for Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyMnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators Business groups express support for Branstad nomination 10 no-brainer ways to cut healthcare costs without hurting quality MORE's (R-Iowa) seat.

“I’m not ruling it out,” Patty Judge said Thursday from her home in Albia, Iowa, according to The Des Moines Register.

“Iowans have always been straight shooters, and up until the recent time I would have said the same thing about Chuck,” she said of the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.

Judge, a Democrat, said she may take a stab at unseating Grassley after the lawmaker’s recent move to impede President Obama from nominating a new Supreme Court justice.

“I don’t like this double-speak,” she said. "I don’t like this deliberate obstruction of the process. I think Chuck Grassley owes us better. He’s been with us a long time. Maybe he’s been with us too long.”

Judge would become Grassley’s fourth Democratic opponent should she decide to run, the Register reported Thursday. She would join state Sen. Rob Hogg and former lawmakers Ben Krause and Tom Fiegen.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) vowed Thursday it would use all of its resources to help a candidate replace Grassley this cycle.

“By refusing to hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee, Sen. Grassley has decided not to do his job,” DSCC National Press Secretary Lauren Passalacqua said in a statement. "His obstruction is yet another factor weakening his case for re-election.”

The White House announced Thursday that Obama is meeting Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches Overnight Healthcare: Burwell huddles with Dems on fighting ObamaCare repeal Reid: Bring back the earmarks MORE (R-Ky.) next Tuesday. The trio will discuss a replacement for former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.

Grassley and other GOP Senate Judiciary Committee members have repeatedly vowed they will not hold hearings or a vote on any nominee Obama proposes to fill the vacancy.