Democrat Glenn Hurst, a rural Iowa doctor and city council member, is running for U.S. Senate
Stephen Gruber-Miller Des Moines Register
A rural western Iowa physician and city council member is running for the U.S. Senate, he announced Thursday.
Glenn Hurst, a Democrat, operates a private medical practice in Minden, where he sits on the city council. Hurst also chairs the Iowa Democratic Party’s Rural Caucus and the party’s 3rd District Central Committee, and he was involved in founding a branch of Indivisble, a progressive activist organization, in western Iowa.
Republican Chuck Grassley, 87, currently holds the U.S. Senate seat. He was first elected to the office in 1980 and has said he will decide this fall whether to run for an eighth term.
As a medical doctor and a medical director for three northwest Iowa nursing homes, Hurst, 51, said in an interview with the Des Moines Register that health care for all is a central part of his campaign pitch. Health care also fits into his larger campaign platform focused on helping rural communities grow.
“Obviously I run as a medical person. That’s going to be very obvious that health care for all is top of the line for me,” he said. “But it really fits into a much broader plan for how do we save rural Iowa and begin to make rural Iowa grow. We’ve had 40 years of Chuck Grassley and no growth in rural Iowa. So he’s got this beautiful vision for the past. We want to give people a vision of the future.”
Hurst said his vision for rural Iowa also includes keeping people in rural communities by providing local jobs, creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors so they can stay in the country, improving broadband internet access so people can work remotely in rural communities and addressing land use and water quality so Iowans can take advantage of recreational activities like hunting and fishing.
He grew up in a military family and was born on a military base in Germany before moving to the Midwest as a child. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha and a medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Hurst is the third Democrat seeking the party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer announced her campaign last week and Dave Muhlbauer, an Iowa farmer and former county supervisor, jumped into the race in May. Retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken, who lost his 2020 Democratic Senate primary bid, is also considering a campaign.
On the Republican side, state Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, has formed a campaign. He said he will challenge Grassley in a primary if necessary.
Though Grassley is unlikely to face a serious primary challenge, a number of Republicans would likely jump into the race if he decides to retire. Among the names being floated are 1st District U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, former acting U.S. Attorney General Matt Whitaker and state Rep. Pat Grassley, who is Iowa House speaker and Chuck Grassley’s grandson.
Stephen Gruber-Miller covers the Iowa Statehouse and politics for the Register. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 515-284-8169. Follow him on Twitter at @sgrubermiller