Race for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District underway

Congressman Steve King speaks at the end of the Roast and Ride fundraiser June 3, 2017, in Boone, Iowa.

Mallory Tope

The battle for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District is beginning as Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, campaigns for a 10th term. 

Candidates were able to file to run for state and federal primary elections in Iowa starting Monday.

King announced in 2019 he would run for reelection in 2020. 

King had been the representative of Iowa’s 5th Congressional District from 2003 to 2013.  

In 2013 following post-census redistricting, most of the old 5th Congressional District became the current 4th Congressional District. 

The 4th District includes Story along with other counties in Western Iowa, containing cities such as Sioux City, Mason City, Fort Dodge, Boone and Carroll. 

In 2018, King ran against Democrat J.D. Scholten and won by about 3 percent. 

King faces a general reelection rematch against Scholten in 2020 if he makes it through the Republican primary.

Scholten announced his campaign to run again for the seat in August 2019.  

“We’re building a people-powered campaign that is focused on meeting with, listening to and earning the trust and support of voters in all 39 counties in Iowa’s 4th District,” Scholten said in a press release at the time. “This time, we’re going to get the job done.” 

Scholten’s campaign plans to follow the same plan they had in 2018, raising money and meeting Iowans. 

“We have the same game plan: go everywhere, meet folks where they’re at and write no one off,” said Lauren Mcllvaine, the communication director for Scholten.

Scholten plans on hosting several town halls before the primary. 

“We’re bringing folks from across the political spectrum and all walks of life into our campaign,” Mcllvaine said. “We’re listening to and learning from folks in small towns that haven’t seen a political candidate in decades, college students who have big dreams but want to achieve them in Iowa and people who have written off politicians in the past.”

There are several Republicans that have announced primary challenges to King, including Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull; Aaron Thomas Krull; Steve Reeder; Bret Richards; and Jeremy Taylor, supervisor of Woodbury Country.

Richards was the first official candidate on the primary ballot for Republican after submitting nomination papers Monday.

Republican candidates in Iowa’s 4th District are required to gather 1,874 signatures and must gather eligible voters’ signatures, equal to at least 2 percent of the Republican party vote in at least 20 of the district’s 39 counties.

“Today’s event was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication by our campaign’s supporters, but it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise,” Richards said in a press release.“Our team had gathered more than double the necessary signatures, topped the 2-percent requirement in 26 counties and collected signatures in every county before mid-August last year.”

If no candidate reaches 35 percent in the Republican primary, the party’s nomination will be selected by delegates at a district convention.

In January 2019, King was stripped of his assignments on the House Judiciary and Agriculture Committee after he made comments on white supremacy. 

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said in an interview with the New York Times before his assignments were stripped.

King later said on Iowa Public Television that the New York Times “misquoted” him.

If reelected, King will serve his 10th term. King declined to comment on his reelection campaign for this article.

King will host town halls throughout the 4th District up until the election in November.

After confirming his reelection campaign, King offered a message to voters.

“Don’t let the elitists in this country, the power brokers in this country, tell [you] who’s going to represent [you] in the United States Congress,” King said on IPTV.