Iowa Historian Running As Independent For U.S. Senate

Apr 20, 2016

An Iowa historian is running as an independent to unseat six-term incumbent U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

Michael Luick-Thrams of Mason City says both major political parties are too married to ideology and can’t do what’s best for the country. 

"We have to have real people with real problems within the halls of government. Be that farmers, or teachers, or labor unionists, or actors, or whoever it needs to be. But someone who’s not there to have a career in politics," says Luick-Thrams.

If elected, Luick-Thrams says he wouldn’t want to be a politician passing policy, but rather be a historian making history. He holds a PhD from the Humboldt University of Berlin in modern European History, and is author or editor of several books, including "Enemies Within: Iowa POWs in Nazi Germany".

Ideologically, Luick-Thrams says he’s been criticized for not being liberal or conservative enough. He says he's not sure whether he would caucus with Senate Democrats or Republicans if elected. 

"I’m not wedded to one ideological party. So I would never become obstructionist, trying to be true to party lines, when in fact, the business of the nation goes begging," he says. "I would be willing to work with anyone of any political background if they have a good idea." 

Luick-Thrams says he supports term-limits of 12 years, regardless of the office, and taking money out of elections. 

In addition to Luick-Thrams, there is a four-way primary to determine the Democratic candidate to challenge Grassley. Former state Sen. Tom Fiegen, state Sen. Rob Hogg, former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, and former state Rep. Bob Krause will face each other on June 7th.