SIOUX CITY — For the third straight quarter, Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten brought in more campaign donations than eight-term incumbent Republican Rep. Steve King.
Scholten, a former paralegal and professional baseball player from Sioux City, raised $269,162 in the three-month period ending June 30. That’s more than triple the $70,601 King collected during the most recent quarter, according to reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.
Scholten finished with $254,566 cash on hand after spending $209,944 in the quarter. After $40,298 in expenditures, King, of Kiron, had $117,554 in the bank at the end of the period.
“As a first-time candidate, competing against an eight-term incumbent who receives so much of his money from corporate PACs is not easy,” Scholten said in a statement. “I’m incredibly proud that our people-powered movement is fueled by grassroots support, as we’ve received donations now from over 11,000 individual donors.”
Scholten, who defeated two other candidates in the June primary to win the Democratic nomination is a decided underdog against King in the 4th District, the most Republican in the state. About 40 percent of voters in the district, which covers 39 counties in Northwest and North central Iowa, are registered Republicans, while 25 percent are Democrats and the rest are no party.
The Cook Political Report, a non-partisan political analysis service, rates the King-Scholten race as “Solid Republican.” Citing his fundraising prowess and growing connection with district voters, Scholten claims he has a real shot at unseating King, one of the most outspoken conservatives in the House.
A string of controversial King’s comments on immigration has led to a surge of Democratic donors from across the country contributing to his general election opponent. For the third straight quarter, Scholten’s campaign received at least one donation from each county in the district and all 50 states.
King’s campaign did not immediately reply to the Journal’s request to comment on the most recent campaign reports.
King, who formerly owned an earth moving construction business in western Iowa, edged Scholten for contributions in 2017, finishing with receipts of $246,592, compared to $174,643 for Scholten. But in the the last three quarters, Scholten built a more than 2-to-1 fundraising advantage — $719,000 to $353,000.
Libertarian Party nominee Chris Aldrich also will be on the 4th District ballot in November. As of Wednesday, campaign finance information for Aldrich was not available through the FCC website.