J.D. Scholten, the Democratic candidate challenging Republican incumbent, Steve King, for Iowa’s 4th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, is drawing large crowds during his third, 39-county tour. Scholten, a first-time candidate who launched his campaign 14 months ago, spoke to a full room Wednesday night at DMACC in Carroll. In just over a year, he has gone from a relatively unknown candidate to trailing King by only six percent, according to a recent poll from Expedition Strategies. Scholten says support continues to grow because he intends to challenge the status quo in our nation’s capital.
If elected, Scholten’s first priority will be changes to healthcare in the United States. According to him, the current state of the industry is unacceptable for the wealthiest country in the world. His long-term goal is to see Medicare for all, but he is not opposed to working with other ideas, as long as it benefits Iowans.
Another top priority for Scholten is providing economic opportunities within the district. He says the reports of a strong national economy are not matching what he is seeing on the campaign trail.
Scholten proposes what he calls “a new rural economy.” His plan entails investing in the nation’s infrastructure, particularly in less populated areas, strengthening workers’ rights and providing easier access to high quality education by supporting community colleges and public universities. After addressing the crowd, Scholten opened the town hall for questions, and many of them concerned gun control. Scholten responded, saying he is not opposed to common-sense changes, such as increased background checks and red flag laws, but it is also important to remember that gun rights are protected.
He adds that if gun rights supporters continue refusing to discuss the issue, change will be difficult to implement. Scholten has six additional town hall meetings scheduled before the end of the month. The dates, times and locations for those meetings, as well as the full audio from Wednesday night can be found included with this story on our website.