Iowa Values define J.D. Scholten. All his life, as a teammate and a professional, he’s been surrounded by people who put others first. He’s played baseball in 7 countries, and his legal career has taken him to Minneapolis and Seattle. But who he is never changed: an Iowan, a community member, and a teammate with energy, a strong work ethic, and integrity. His family raised him to believe that hard work, civility, and community are the values we should all aspire to, and he is committed to living those values through his campaign to beat Steve King.
J.D., a 5th generation Iowan, was born March 4, 1980, at Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames. At 10 lbs. 2 oz., he was already standing tall. At 3, he moved with his family from the town of Nevada to Sioux City, where he grew up and first played baseball. One grandfather sold feed and seed to local farmers. The other was a farmer, while Grandma Fern—who he calls his inspiration—was a local elementary school teacher. J.D.’s father coached college baseball and his mother worked in public health, looking out for other mothers and their families.
As a student-athlete at East High School, J.D. earned 6 varsity letters and 3 All-State honorable mentions in basketball and baseball while graduating with honors. He went on to attend Morningside College, where he continued to emphasize both academics and athletics, making the Dean’s List and earning first-team academic all-conference. He later graduated from the University of Nebraska, where he led the College World Series baseball team in ERA, all while maintaining his academic all-conference status.
After college, J.D. pursued a professional baseball career, playing in Canada for the Saskatoon Legends, for his hometown Sioux City Explorers over the course of 4 seasons, and in Europe (Belgium, Germany and France). In 2013, J.D. had the honor of pitching with the UCLA Alumni baseball team for 5 games during their tour of Cuba; including giving up a single to current major leaguer Yasmany Tomas. Though the Majors remained elusive, he kept playing for the love of the game and for the love of supporting his teams. All told, he’s played baseball professionally in 7 countries, and with teammates from 6 continents (the invitation is open to anyone from Antarctica).
Between baseball seasons, J.D. began a career as a litigation paralegal, specializing in eDiscovery, Intellectual Property law and trials—a career that taught him the ins-and-outs of the law, good governance, and how to fight for people’s rights. He was proud to support the asylum case of a Cameroonian man tortured by his own government, and to help a Minnesota company protect its Intellectual Property rights against a giant Canadian corporation.
Though a first-time candidate for office, J.D. is a lifelong Democrat who in October of 2002 took a 20 hour one-way bus ride to protest the Iraq war and has volunteered on local, state and national campaigns. He is still an avid sports fan, loves to play cards, enjoys black coffee, and Casey’s pizza. He lives in Sioux City, having bought the family home. At 6 feet 6 inches tall, J.D. is truly “Standing Tall for All!”