Randy Feenstra Wins, Keeping Steve King’s Iowa Seat in G.O.P. Hands

first_imgIn 2018, Mr. Scholten lost by three percentage points to Mr. King in a district Mr. Trump had carried by nearly 30 points in 2016.His narrow loss then in part reflected the growing toxicity of Mr. King, who has a long history of racist remarks and denigration of racial minorities. For years, he has ridiculed multiculturalism, vilified undocumented immigrants and met with leaders of far-right groups. Randy Feenstra, a Republican state senator, won election to represent northwest Iowa in Congress on Tuesday, five months after his primary victory over Representative Steve King, whose history of racist comments had made him an embarrassment to the party. According to The Associated Press, Mr. Feenstra, 51, a social conservative, was turning back by a large margin a spirited campaign from J.D. Scholten, 40, a Democrat and supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders who nearly defeated Mr. King two years ago. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Mr. Feenstra was outspent by Mr. Scholten — $2.3 million to $1.6 million — in the conservative district, but the Republican was aided by nearly $500,000 in outside spending. While Mr. Scholten was a favorite of progressives, he stressed his independent streak during the general election race. He told voters he had backed away from the Green New Deal after learning that farmers had not been consulted during the creation of the plan to shift America away from reliance on fossil fuels. “They didn’t include rural. They didn’t include farmers. That’s why it’s a nonstarter for me,” Mr. Scholten told Mr. Feenstra last month during a debate. “Don’t come at me with that. I don’t support the Green New Deal. I’ve been very damn clear.” – Advertisement – In 2019, Mr. King was stripped of his committee assignments after he said during an interview with The New York Times: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”At the time, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, told Mr. King to “find another line of work.”Mr. King wrote on Twitter early Tuesday that he supported Mr. Trump’s re-election, but could not bring himself to vote for Mr. Feenstra. “I enthusiastically voted for Trump first thing this morning but I couldn’t get my hand to fill in the oval for the Republican nominee for Congress,” he wrote. While Republican leaders saw Mr. Feenstra as less incendiary than Mr. King, the incoming congressman shares many of his predecessor’s policy views. Mr. Feenstra has pledged to fight to build President Trump’s border wall with Mexico, ban “sanctuary cities,” “fight against the liberal agenda” and defund Planned Parenthood. In a recent debate, he said marriage was “between one man and one woman.” He also sought to paint Mr. Scholten, a former professional baseball player who at 6-foot-6 stands one inch taller than Mr. Feenstra, as beholden to “liberal coastal elites.” Mr. Feenstra’s victory over Mr. Scholten was a bright spot for Republicans. – Advertisement –last_img

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