Weaver seeks to challenge King a second time

Kim Weaver is running to unseat Iowa 4th district incumbent Steve King.

Courtesy of Kim Weaver

Kim Weaver is running to unseat Iowa 4th district incumbent Steve King.

Chris Anderson

Kim Weaver has raised nearly $170,000 for her 2018 congressional campaign after announcing her candidacy just last month.

Weaver, who ran for Congress in Iowa’s 4th District in 2016, made the choice to run again against Republican Rep. Steve King.

Weaver originally pledged to run against King if she could raise $100,000 by Sept. 1 and have volunteers in every county in the 4th District. After making the announcement, Weaver raised $104,000 in just four days.

Much of the support came pouring in after King wrote this controversial tweet: “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

“It took off quickly, and a lot of people say, ‘Well, it was just because Steve King said something stupid,'” Weaver said. “But you have to remember I was in a position to take advantage of it and I did.”

Weaver attributed the amount of encouragement she saw to the network of support she created during her first time running for office.

“I had people in place who knew I was a good candidate and supported me,” Weaver said. “And they were able to jump in and help.”

After the election, Weaver said many told her she needed to run again, including California Rep. Eric Swalwell.

“I said you know what, I’ll run, but it can’t be this thing it was last time,” Weaver said. “I have to have the volunteers, I have to have the staff and I have to have the money.”

Weaver said she did not run the campaign she wanted to her first time around but now hopes she has the resources to run a stronger one.

As a Democrat living in a Republican-controlled country, Weaver also has a new list of issues she hopes to work on if elected.

Among the issues are student loan debt reform and instituting a Medicare-for-all health care plan.

Weaver believes Iowans will be excited about health care reform.

“[Iowans will support] the health care measures because they’re starting to see what a mess our health care system is right now,” she said.

Among more Iowa-specific issues, Weaver hopes to create a plan to bring broadband to rural America and legalize industrial hemp nationwide.

If Weaver were to be elected, she said she plans to join the House Progressive Caucus.

King has been re-elected consecutively since first being elected in 2002, and Iowa’s 4th District is considered to be a safe Republican seat.

Weaver, who lost by a margin of nearly 13 percent, believes she is doing the right thing by running a second time against King.

Weaver said she has built strong name recognition by running before, an expensive advantage King already has. She also said she received a higher vote count than both Hillary Clinton and Senate candidate Patty Judge.

Many Democrats in the state are optimistic that Weaver will be able to defeat King, with nearly 400 volunteers signed up to volunteer with her campaign.

Many national and state figures have also come out with endorsements for Weaver, including former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and 13 state legislators.

Iowa State professor Dirk Deam declared an exploratory campaign for Congress and plans to run as a Democrat. 

Weaver said she has heard very little from other candidates on what they support.

“Voters want to hear from us,” Weaver said. “What do we stand for? I believe I am the best candidate because I have the framework, I have a network of volunteers, I know what I’m up against and I’m willing to fight again.”