king

King Primary Defeat Moves IA-04 to Solid Republican

In a rare result that will delight both parties' House leadership, nine-term GOP Rep. Steve King (IA-04) lost his primary to state Sen. Randy Feenstra 46 percent to 36 percent. Although some Democrats may be tempted to interpret King's ouster as a rejection of white nationalism, Feenstra prevailed by running against King as an ineffective ally to President Trump after being booted from his committee assignments last year.

Feenstra, a former candy company sales manager, massively outspent the cash-starved King with help from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a group led by prominent Iowa conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats. In the end, Feenstra won his entire margin of victory in four heavily Dutch, strongly socially conservative counties in and around his state senate district in the northwest corner of the state.

The downside for Democrats is that they no longer have any chance to win Iowa's 4th CD in the fall. Democrat J.D. Scholten, who took 47 percent against King in 2018, had raised $1.1 million for the cycle by the end of March but his path to victory depended on running against the polarizing King. The 4th CD voted for Trump by 27 points in 2016 and Feenstra is virtually assured to be sworn as the new member in January.

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images