Chelgren to announce congressional intentions next week

State Sen. Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) and his family.

State Sen. Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) and his family.

By Bob Eschliman


One of the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus’ most vocal champions, long rumored to be interested in a congressional run, will announce his intentions next week at an event in the First Congressional District.

State Sen. Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) said today he would announce his intentions Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Iowa City. The event is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. at The Airliner, located at 22 S Clinton Street, in Iowa City. Following the announcement, he will attend the Scott County GOP’s Ronald Reagan Dinner.

Chelgren, 47, was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 after winning a recount. He was re-elected in 2014 to a second four-year term by 374 votes in Senate District 41, where Democrats hold a 2,700-vote advantage over Republicans. He is founder of Frog Legs, Inc., a manufacturer of wheelchair suspension systems. He and his wife, Janet, have four children: Eric, Leah, Makayla, and Ryan.

The First Congressional District of Iowa is the only seat in the Iowa delegation not held by a Republican. U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack was first elected in 2006. Democrats hold a 20,000 active register voter lead over Republicans, 153,766 to 133,600, but as is the case throughout Iowa, independents make up the largest bloc of active voters with 191,821 registrants.