Nearly nine months to the day since J.D. Scholten narrowly lost to incumbent Republican Congressman Steve King in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, Scholten announced Monday he was throwing his hat into the ring again in an effort to oust the nine-term congressman.
Scholten defeated two other Democrats in a June 2018 primary to earn the party’s nomination to challenge King in the November mid-term election. He lost that race by just over 3 percentage points. After saying he was reviewing his options and his path forward, Scholten made it clear on Monday that path would take him into a another race against King. So far, he’s the only Democrat to announce a bid for the party’s nomination in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, which covers 39 counties, all which Scholten covered while traveling in his brightly colored, red, white and blue RV he called Sioux City Sue.
“We’re building a people-powered campaign that is focused on meeting with, listening to, and earning the trust and support of voters in all 39 counties in Iowa’s 4th district,” Scholten said in an early morning announcement of his candidacy. “This time, we’re going to get the job done.”
He said in the announcement that, too many Iowa families “feel like they’re getting kicked in the dirt, suffering from an economy and a government that just doesn’t have their interests at heart.
“We need a system that works for all people — not just special interests and those who are lucky enough to be at the top,” Scholten said. “That’s exactly why we’re in this fight: to fix our healthcare system, fight for an economy for all, and secure our democracy. The 4th district deserves a voice in Washington that understands these issues and will fight day in and day out to revitalize our rural communities.”
His announcement was accompanied by a video narrated by actor Kevin Costner. That was followed by a rally in his hometown of Sioux City Monday night. He plans to travel throughout the district, including a stopped scheduled for 9 p.m. Tuesday night at Mother’s Pub, 2900 West St., in Ames.
The Ames Tribune has an interview scheduled with Scholten, who was born in Ames, ahead of that event.
King, who has come under fire for his anti-immigrant rhetoric is facing a primary challenge from three Republicans; state Sen. Randy Feenstra, former state Rep. Jeremy Taylor, and former Irwin Mayor Brent Richards.
King was criticized after last fall’s election by state and national GOP leaders for comments he made about white supremacy and nationalism in an interview with the New York Times. He was later stripped of his congressional committee assignments.
Scholten received an early endorsement Monday from the political action committee, Democracy for America.
“In this race, Iowans have the opportunity to replace one of the most racist and divisive members of Congress with a leader who will fight for an economy that puts the interests of farmers and working families ahead of Wall Street, healthcare that puts people before profits, and an immigration system rooted in justice and compassion,” said Yvette Simpson, the group’s CEO in an emailed statement.
By Tribune staff
Posted Aug 5, 2019 at 5:16 PM
Updated Aug 5, 2019 at 8:34 PM