In the past, when we have endorsed a candidate over Steve King in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, it was often an anti-King vote with lukewarm support for his Democratic opponent.
Our endorsement this year is also a vote against King, a controversial and ineffective Congressman, but it’s also a vote to support who we believe is a strong candidate who will work for what’s best for the people of Iowa, not only just in the 4th District, but statewide, and for the country.
J.D. Scholten was correct when he said King’s antics have given Iowa a “black eye.” We’ll go one step further and say King is a gut-punch to everything we as Iowans believe in and stand for.
We all know about King’s derogatory comments and tweets about immigrants who come to this country (and Iowa) to build better lives for themselves and their families. We are all aware of his recent controversies, including talking to an Austrian website with white nationalist ties, and his meltdown at a forum sponsored by the Des Moines Partnership (why is King spending time in Des Moines which isn’t in his district?) where he became so enraged when an Iowa State University student who attended the forum asked him about his comments about immigrants. The student asked him to distinguish between his comments and those made by the man accused in the shooting that killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. King at one point became so angry his voice cracked with rage when he told the young man to stop and later had him removed from the event.
The incident was reminiscent of the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in which his reaction and anger prompted many to ask whether he had the temperament to serve as a Supreme Court justice. We should ask the same question about King. A sitting Congressman should have the ability to keep his cool.
Also, let’s not forget King has been ineffective in his role as a representative for Iowa, getting headlines for his controversial statements rather than for any meaningful legislation he’s been involved in or introduced.
In contrast, Scholten, unlike many who have come before him, has shown the tenacity and talent needed to win. A recent poll showed he had pulled within 1 percentage point of King in a district in which Republicans outnumber Democrats.
Scholten and his now-famous RV, Sioux City Sue, have traversed all 39 counties in the district. He has taken the time to meet face to face, individually and in groups, both small and large, with voters, talking about issues that matter and taking the time to listen to what’s on their minds.
Scholten’s stances on health care, business growth and development in rural communities, and education show he is in tune with voters in his district. His nearly non-stop travels since he announced his candidacy show he has the spirit, drive and commitment to do the job and to serve Iowans well in Washington.
Scholten will be a breath of fresh air in the 4th District and will do much to restore the tarnished reputation it and the state have received with King in Congress.
For all of those reasons, we endorse J.D. Scholten for Congress in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.