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Sioux City Journal: J.D. Scholten outraises Randy Feenstra, Steve King in latest quarter in Iowa 4th race

SIOUX CITY — Randy Feenstra moved past the half-million dollar mark in fundraising in his bid to unseat fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King. Meanwhile, J.D. Scholten, the sole Democrat in the Iowa 4th District race, scored the biggest campaign haul in the quarter.

Scholten, who is seeking the seat for a second time after losing to King by a surprising 3 percent in 2018, entered the race in August after the latest reporting period. For the three months ending Sept. 30, the Sioux Cityan raised $408,495. 

“This cycle, we picked up right where we left off. Our fundraising efforts mirrors the excitement in #IA04,” Scholten tweeted Wednesday morning.

Feenstra, a state senator from Hull, outraised King for the third period in a row. Feenstra raised $140,307 in the latest quarter, compared to just $62,145 for the nine-term incumbent.

“Despite being the 18-year incumbent, Steve King’s fundraising continues to falter. In fact, Congressman King’s fundraising fell 32 percent from last quarter,” Feenstra campaign manager Matt Leopold said in a statement. “The Feenstra campaign has a 10 times cash advantage over Steve King, a remarkable advantage for a challenger. Voters in the 4th District are ready for a change, ready for an effective conservative leader.”

A second GOP candidate, former Irwin Mayor Bret Richards, also had more revenue than King in the latest reporting period. But all but $13,079 of Irwin’s $115,000 total came from personal loans to his campaign.

“This quarterly report, combined with the grassroots support that allowed me to be the first candidate to qualify to be on the ballot, should leave no doubt that we are fully committed to winning,” Richards said in a statement.

Republican challenger Jeremy Taylor, a former state legislator from Sioux City, raised $39,030 during the quarter.

“We’re on pace to have the resources to win the primary and defeat J.D. Scholten next fall,” Michael Biundo, a general consultant for Taylor’s team, said in a statement. “As we’ve seen over and over again in Iowa, money doesn’t win elections, grassroots support does. We set out from day one to build a county-by-county grassroots organization, and we’re hitting the fundraising numbers we need to fully fund our campaign plan.”

The Federal Election Commission website Wednesday morning had no report listed for a fifth GOP candidate, Steve Reeder, an Arnolds Park businessman who launched his campaign less than two months ago.

Federal candidates were required to report their fundraising activity with the Federal Election Commission by Tuesday, covering fundraising from July 1 through Sept. 30.

King, an outspoken conservative who was stripped by GOP House leaders of his committee assignments in January after making comments about white supremacy and white nationalism, has never been a major fundraiser but has faced even greater challenges this cycle. The $61,803 he raised during the most recent quarter was the smallest sum among GOP incumbents.  

For the three months ending June 30, King raised $91,421, and spent nearly all of it. His $18,366 cash on hand on June 30 was the fifth smallest reserves among the 435 members of the House, according to OpenSecrets.org. The incumbent ended the most recent reporting period with $40,682 in the bank. 

To conserve cash, King spent just $39,283 during the period. And he did not list payroll expenses for his son and campaign chairman, Jeff King, or Jeff King’s wife, Lindsey, who also has previously been a paid campaign official. In the previous three-month period, Jeff and Lindsey King collectively were paid over $24,000.

Feenstra, who formally kicked off his campaign Tuesday night in Sioux Center, finished the June 1 to Sept. 30 period with $406,049 in the bank, while Scholten ended the quarter with $385,938 cash on hand.

Richards reported $89,400 left in cash on hand at the end of the quarter, while Taylor ended the period with $46,825 in the bank.

For the year, combined over three quarters, Feenstra’s revenues total $531,200, while King has brought in $221,798. Richards had total revenues of $185,859, of which $150,000 are loans. Taylor has brought in a combined $107,069 for the year. 

Written by Bret Hayworth