Congress

Rep. Steve King challenger raises $100,000 in 10 days

State Sen. Randy Feenstra has said King lacks influence because ‘sideshows and distractions’

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, could face a well-funded primary challenger. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Rep. Steve King has faced calls for his censure and resignation by congressional colleagues this week, his primary challenger has been raking in donations.

Conservative state Sen. Randy Feenstra has raised $100,000 in the 10 days since he formed his congressional campaign committee, his campaign announced in a news release. 

“Since launching our campaign, the financial support and encouragement from conservatives across our district and the country has been overwhelming,” Feenstra said in a statement Thursday. “Our early financial strength in this campaign proves that we will have the resources necessary to ensure the 4th District has the effective conservative leadership it deserves.”

The campaign described Feenstra as a “tireless defender of the unborn and the 2nd Amendment.”

Democrats including Illinois Rep. Bobby L. Rush and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan pushed for an official censure of King this week amid renewed scrutiny of his racist statements. Censure requires that the member stand in the well of the chamber and receive a verbal rebuke. But the chamber deferred the matter to the Ethics Committee instead. 

Steve King: ‘I want to ask my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, let’s vote for this resolution’

Feenstra did not mention King by name in his statement announcing his run last week, but slammed the incumbent’s lack of influence.

“Today, Iowa’s 4th District doesn’t have a voice in Washington, because our current representative’s caustic nature has left us without a seat at the table,” Feenstra said in a news release. “We don’t need any more sideshows or distractions, we need to start winning for Iowa’s families.”

The Republican Steering Committee voted not to seat King on any committees on Monday.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds indicated last week that despite campaigning with King ahead of the 2018 election, she won’t support the congressman over Feenstra in 2020.

Behind the scenes, Reynolds and Feenstra share a link: Feenstra’s campaign media contact, Matt Leopold, was Reynolds’ political director during her 2018 campaign.

Bridget Bowman and Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.

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