Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten told Hill.TV that he doesn’t need help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to win a long-held GOP seat in Iowa, arguing his message of progressive populism will be enough to secure victory in November.
Scholten is making another run at the House seat for the 4th Congressional District after coming within 4 percentage points of Rep. Steve King (R) during the midterms in a district President Trump won by nearly 30 points in 2016.
Scholten will face Randy Feenstra, who defeated King in June during the GOP primary.
He told Hill.TV he declined help from the DCCC — the House Democrats’ campaign arm — because he felt it would impose limitations on his campaign.
“I want this race to be run out of Sioux City and not DC,” Scholten said. “And ultimately, I’m not running to win their approval. I’m running to win this race.”
When reached for comment, DCCC spokesperson Cole Leiter said: “We have built a big battlefield and every candidate is going to make their own decisions about how to run their race. We wish him well.”
The Cook Political Report lists the seat as “likely Republican.”
Though the Democratic Party has long been unpopular in his district, Scholten said voters involved in regional agricultural businesses have been hurt by a lack of antitrust enforcement. He is hoping to capitalize on what he says is a long-present populist spirit in the district.
“My campaign right now is building this amazing coalition of consumers, of workers and of farmers, all that are being hurt by these monopolies,” Scholten said. “The farmers are being squeezed, both on the input and the market side. The workers are being suppressed. They’re getting the same wages that they did when my family moved to Sioux City in 1984. And you have these consumers that are paying more for meat than they ever have been. And so that money isn’t going to any of them. It’s going to profits and to Wall Street.”