Randy Feenstra, State senator from Hull Iowa has defeated nine-term Congressman Steve King.
BREAKING: Randy Feenstra wins Republican nomination for U.S. House in Iowa’s 4th congressional district. #APracecall at 11:00 p.m. CDT. #Election2020 #IAprimary https://t.co/lGfinjTqT4
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) June 3, 2020
The defeat comes after years of Steve King making controversial, offensive, and even at times racist comments that left him a pariah of the Republican Party.
I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support over the past 17 months that made tonight possible and I thank Congressman King for his decades of public service. As we turn to the General Election, I will remain focused on my plans to deliver results for the families, farmers and communities of Iowa. But first, we must make sure this seat doesn’t land in the hands of Nancy Pelosi and her liberal allies in Congress. Tomorrow, we get back to work.
Feenstra mobilized a coalition of conservative groups to support him in his primary battle. His fundraising operation, while not record-breaking, performed admirably and looked infinitely better than the abysmal numbers reported by King each quarter. As of May 13th at the end of the pre-primary fundraising report, King had less than $33,000 cash on hand, according to the federal elections commission, a tiny sum for someone heading into a five-way primary battle.
.@RandyFeenstra taking a call from Congressman Kevin McCarthy. Randy is ready to get to work. #IA04 pic.twitter.com/AJXd0Aqe56
— Matt Leopold (@Matthew_Leopold) June 3, 2020
King, who built his entire campaign around the idea that he was a victim of the liberal drive-by media, maintained that he was President Trump’s most loyal Iowa supporter. On Sunday, when Trump endorsed several other Republicans in the state via twitter, he refused to endorse King. In doing so Trump completely undermined that claim and humiliated him. King’s strength has always come from his support from social conservatives. The tide was turning when Priorities for Iowa Political Fund aired an ad featuring prominent social conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats, who served as a validator for Feenstra’s winning message that King had lost his effectiveness.
Feenstra will take on Democrat J.D. Scholten this fall. In 2018, Scholten nearly defeated King, who eked out a win with just 3% in a heavily Republican district.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to state Senator Randy Feenstra on securing the fourth district GOP nomination,” said Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann. “His Democratic opponent J.D. Scholten supports a socialist agenda that includes the radical $93 trillion Green New Deal and government-run health care, and he has raked in twice as much in contributions from California liberals than from folks here in Iowa. It’s clear he doesn’t have Iowans’ best interests at heart.”
What this means going forward:
Many Republican insiders are breathing a sigh of relief as a rather nuclear nine-term Congressman is no longer on the political scene. Democrats who have run out of criticism for republican elected leaders like Gov. Reynolds and Sen. Ernst are down another line of attack.
Congratulations @hinsonashley, @millermeeks, @youngforiowa, and @randyfeenstra! Looking forward to Republican victories up and down the ballot this November! #KeepIowaMoving
— Kim Reynolds (@KimReynoldsIA) June 3, 2020
Image Source: “Steve King” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore