Des Moines Register
A former independent-league baseball player from Sioux City will challenge U.S. Rep. Steve King in Iowa’s 4th District.
J.D. Scholten, a Democrat, announced his candidacy on Tuesday, pledging to rise above divisive politics and promote “hard work, civility and community.”
“I want to put Iowa values back at the center of public service, create new opportunities for Iowa’s middle class, and ensure that Iowans never again need to worry about healthcare as a barrier to living free, productive, and successful lives,” he said in a statement.
Scholten, 37, was a baseball player at Morningside College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and later played for the semi-pro Sioux City Explorers, among other teams. Between seasons and since retiring from baseball, he’s worked as a paralegal.
He’s running in Iowa’s most heavily Republican congressional district against King, an eight-term incumbent Republican known for strident and controversial remarks on immigration and race.
Scholten’s comments regarding civility are clearly meant to draw a contrast with King, who has suggested, among other controversy-courting statements, that Muslim immigration into western countries amounts to “cultural suicide.”
Scholten received immediate support on Tuesday from Kim Weaver, the Democratic nominee in the district in 2016 who announced a 2018 candidacy earlier this year but then withdrew.
Weaver endorsed Scholten in an email to her supporters and asked them to contribute to his campaign. She’s also sitting on almost $136,000 in campaign funds, which she has said she wants to use to support a challenger to King.
A top aide from Weaver’s campaign is now Scholten’s political director.