(Corrects first name of candidate in headline)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Democrat Abby Finkenauer, who was one of the youngest women in Congress before losing her re-election bid last year, on Thursday said she would run for the Iowa U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Chuck Grassley.
Finkenauer faces an uphill battle in a Republican-leaning state should she win the Democratic nomination for the November 2022 congressional elections, which will determine which party controls Congress during the second half of President Joe Biden’s term.
Grassley, 87, is a seven-term senator first elected in 1980 who easily won re-election in 2016 with 60% of the vote. Former President Donald Trump, also a Republican, carried Iowa in 2020 with 53% of the vote.
Finkenauer, who filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday declaring her candidacy, is personally and politically close to Biden, who campaigned for her in her 2018 House of Representatives campaign when she unseated Republican Rod Blum.
She held office for a single two-year term, losing to Republican Ashley Hinson last November.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Giles Elgood)