Democratic State Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids kicked off his campaign for U.S. Senate at a city park in Callender Tuesday morning.
Hogg hopes to challenge Sen. Chuck Grassley. The Republican is seeking his seventh term in the Senate.
It was a low key event. Hogg spoke to about a half dozen people and described himself as an “underdog.”
"The other two Democrats who have said they are running, have been running for the last six years. So they've been all over the state. So I'm the underdog in that race," says Hogg. "I'm also the underdog if I get the nomination in the general election. And Sen. Grassley has a 42-year head start on me. So I'm going to do my best to catch up, and get out and meet as many Iowans as I can."
The two Democrats Hogg referenced are former State Rep. Bob Krause of Des Moines and former State Sen. Tom Fiegen of Clarence. Both ran in the 2010 Senate Democratic primary, but eventually lost to attorney Roxanne Conlin, who lost to Grassley in the general election.
Hogg says he chose the city of less than 370 people because his grandmother was born in Callender and because he supports small-town Iowa. During his announcement the candidate also highlighted his concerns about climate change.
"None of us asked for this problem, but we cannot afford to ignore it," says Hogg. "Climate change has real costs and real consequences for real people. And the science tells us it will get worse until we take significant action."
Hogg is holding campaign events across the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.