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Rick Scott 'very optimistic' Grassley will run for another term

Rick Scott 'very optimistic' Grassley will run for another term
© Bonnie Cash

National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chair Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said he is confident that Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyConservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization Lawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats On The Money: Biden says workers can't turn down job and get benefits | Treasury launches state and local aid | Businesses jump into vax push MORE (R-Iowa) will run for reelection next year.

The Florida senator told The Des Moines Register on Wednesday that he’s “very optimistic that Sen. Grassley’s going to run.”

“Actually, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t,” Scott told the newspaper. 

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“He likes the job, and he's good at it, and he's in great health,” he said. “I mean shoot, when he had COVID he was still jogging every day. We just had ‘vote-a-rama’ where we all had to stay up all night long and work through noon the next day. He was there like everybody else. So, the guy, he's in great shape and he cares and he's smart.”

Grassley, 87, is up for reelection next year but hasn’t said publicly whether he will run for an eighth term in the Senate. 

He has already filed campaign paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), a prerequisite for running, and many Republicans believe he is setting himself up for another campaign. Still, Grassley has said that he doesn’t expect to make a final decision until this fall.

Senate Republicans are scrambling to avoid any more GOP retirements after five of their incumbents announced plans to step down after 2022. 

Some of those incumbents, such as Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Biden officials testify that white supremacists are greatest domestic security threat Republicans embrace Trump in effort to reclaim Senate MORE (R-Ala.), represent safe Republican states that have little chance of changing partisan hands in next year’s midterms. 

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But Democrats are particularly interested in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump to speak at North Carolina GOP convention Romney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' GOP senator urges Biden to withdraw support for COVID vaccine patent waiver MORE's (R-N.C.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE’s (R-Pa.) planned retirements have laid the groundwork for competitive midterm races.

Iowa Democrats believe that Grassley’s potential retirement could give them an opening to capture his seat, though they acknowledge that doing so will still be difficult. The party has seen few statewide successes in recent years, and political operatives in the state say Grassley is likely to have a successor in mind should he decide to retire. 

Among the names mentioned as possible replacements for Grassley are his grandson, Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, and Gov. Kim Reynolds, though Reynolds has signaled that she will run for reelection to the governor’s mansion next year.