U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks to members of the press, June 27, 2013.
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Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley embarks on his annual 99-county tour


We’re only 3/365ths of the way through 2014. But the “Full Grassley” is already here.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley kick-starts his annual 99-county tour of the state on Friday.  The 80-year-old lawmaker has completed the annual meet-and-greet – holding at least one meeting with Iowans in each of the state’s 99 counties every year since first being elected to the Senate in 1980.

That’s over 3,200 stops, as part of the tour, through the course of his career so far.

He’ll first stop in the northeastern part of the Hawkeye State, meeting with high school students in Nashua, before doing a Q&A in Charles City with employees at Mitas Tires North America, Inc.

Other lawmakers have since mimicked the so-called “Full Grassley” in Iowa, which holds the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum completed the 99-county tour in 2011 – and squeaked out a win against Mitt Romney in the caucuses in early 2012. But the “Full Grassley” is no sure deal, as Michele Bachmann can attest to.  Santorum’s competitor also visited  all 99 Iowa counties—in 10 days—only to finish last place in the caucuses.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has also completed the “Full Grassley.”