Scholten says health care more important than impeachment among 4th District voters


Caitlin Yamada/ Iowa State Daily

Presidential candidate and businessman Andrew Yang speaks to reporters alongside Democratic congressional candidate J.D. Scholten on Dec. 12 in the Ames Community Center.

Jake Webster

Senior House Democrats announced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, opening up the possibility that Trump will be the third president impeached in American history.

When the House of Representatives passed a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry into Trump in October, all three Democrats representing congressional districts in Iowa voted in favor of opening the inquiry while the lone Republican, Steve King, voted against.

J.D. Scholten, a Democrat who ran a close race against King in 2018 and is seeking a 2020 rematch, said “impeachment hasn’t come up yet” when asked by reporters whether he would vote for impeachment if he was in Congress at an event Thursday.

“I would follow the rules, and I had said that I don’t think that any Democrat should blindly be for it let’s see the facts; and at the same time, I don’t think any Republican should not,” Scholten said. “We’ll see what happens in the next few days as it [progresses through the House], but if you ask me, next week I’ll see if it happens.”

Scholten told the Daily over the course of the 28 town halls he has done as part of a tour of small towns in the 39 counties that make up Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, he has heard the issue of impeachment come up “twice.”

“It’s something that doesn’t always come up; maybe now that it’s more in the news maybe it might,” Scholten said. “For the most part, we’re talking about issues like keeping the town grocery store, like health care, keeping nursing homes or health care units in the communities. Those are the things we’re focused on right now with the campaign.”

Health care is the most important issue to voters in the 4th District, Scholten said.

Trump won the 2016 presidential election in Iowa by a statewide margin of more than nine percent, though he won the 4th District by 27 percent. Scholten fell just over three points short of unseating King in 2018.

On Tuesday, King released a video statement rejecting the articles of impeachment lawmakers announced earlier that day.

“The long saga of three years and one month of trying to come up with an excuse to impeach Donald Trump has finally come to pass,” King said in the statement. “The excuses are this: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.”