UPDATE — King faces primary challenge from Randy Feenstra in 2020; King blasts challenger
HULL — Republican Congressman Steve King will face a primary challenge if he seeks a 10th term in the U.S. House next year.
Republican State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull announced Wednesday morning he will run for congress in the fourth congressional district.
“I just think it’s time to have an effective, conservative leader in the fourth congressional district,” Feenstra told KIWA Radio. “We need to have a person that can create policy for Main Street and agriculture and who has our shared conservative values.”
Feenstra, who called King “caustic” in a written statement, said the fourth district “doesn’t have a voice” in Washington right now because of “sideshows and distractions” from King.
“Over the last 12 years I’ve been in the Iowa Senate and I have a track record for cutting taxes, creating jobs, protecting life, defending the Second Amendment,” Feenstra said, “so I think it’s time to send a conservative to Washington that has a seat at the table for the fourth district.”
The district has a significant Republican voter registration edge, but Democrat J.D. Scholten came within about 11,000 votes of defeating King in November. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who won the district by 18 points, said after the election that King has to decide whether he wants to be in congress or do something else.
Last week, King announced he’d hold town hall meetings in each of the district’s 39 counties — a practice King had suspended after complaining “paid protesters” were disrupting his events. King has drawn rebukes from fellow Republicans over the years. A key House Republican publicly condemned King’s behavior in late October, saying it’s important to “stand up against white supremacy and hate.”
Feenstra has been the Sioux County Treasurer and the city administrator in Hull. His congressional campaign website invites supporters to “help fulfill our promise to Make America Great Again!”
“The fourth district voters need somebody that can create change, who can go to Washington and make things happen,” Feenstra said during the radio interview. “I just think Congressman King has been there 16 years and it’s time for a change.”
Feenstra is currently teaching at Dordt College in Sioux Center.
=== Republican Congressman Steve King is denouncing the Republican state senator who plans to challenge King’s bid for reelection in 2020.
State Senator Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, has announced that in 2020, he will run for the U.S. House seat King currently holds. In a written statement, King said “establishment puppeteers” in the Republican Party had convinced Feenstra to challenge him. King also said Feenstra would offer voters nothing more than “warmed over” liberal talking points.
Feenstra, in his own campaign announcement, accused King of being ineffective and prone to political “sideshows” rather than service to Iowans. Both men say they’d be President Trump’s best ally. King said Trump has referred to him as the “world’s most conservative human being.”
King claims Feenstra had a conversation with Jeff King, the congressman’s son and campaign manager, on December 28 and that Feenstra — according to King — indicated he would never run against King.
The Iowa Republican Party’s chairman has referred to Feenstra as a “legitimate” challenger, but declared that the party will remain neutral in this primary contest.
The Iowa Democratic Party’s chairman has issued a statement calling King the “least effect” member of congress and criticizing Feenstra’s support — as a state senator — “of excessive spending on ineffective tax giveaways.” J.D. Scholten, the Democrat who came with about 11-thousand votes of defeating King last November, has not ruled out another run in the fourth district in 2020.