A northwest Iowa senator has announced he’ll set up a federal campaign committee to run for the U.S. House, the first step to challenging Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, in a primary if he chooses to seek a 10th term.
Republican Randy Feenstra from Hull is in his third term in the State Senate. He says Iowa’s 4th Congressional District needs an effective leader.
Feenstra is in the political majority in the Iowa Senate. As the 2018 election flipped the U.S. House of Representatives to a Democratic majority, Feenstra says serving as a Republican would be about being able to work with the other side.
“Bottom line, it’s all about what’s A: best for Iowa, best for the 4th District and best for our nation,” he said. “And if we sit around those things, we can get a lot of things done. It doesn’t matter what party you’re affiliated with.”
Issues that he says are important to him include securing the country’s borders, supporting job creation and simplifying the tax system.
"And most important, making sure that families are taken care of, that they have money in their pocket to do what needs to be done, that we have a good system, that we could have agriculture grow in the 4th District," Feenstra said.
As for what's next for him, he said he'll be meeting people in the 4th District and listening to what they have to say about what changes they want to see in Washington D.C.
In a statement, Rep. King said Feenstra told his son and campaign manager Jeff King that he would never run against his father.
“Today, misguided political opportunism, fueled by establishment puppeteers, has revealed that Mr. Feenstra is easily swayed by the lies of the Left,” King said. “Today’s announcement by Feenstra is the third attempt by the establishment in as many primary cycles to take the 4th District out of the hands of grassroots Republicans.”
He continued, “Further, it’s an obvious attempt to undermine an effective and leading Congressional ally of the President’s whom Trump frequently refers to as ‘the world’s most conservative human being.’”
Feenstra said he has said in the past that he would not run against King, but around four weeks ago, they had a conversation where he told King he would explore a run.
“I think we had a great conversation, but I think that’s what has to happen,” he said. “We can't do things on the side. We have to work together and we have to face the challenges and concerns.”
King won re-election for a ninth term in November, beating Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten 50.3 percent to 47 percent of the vote. It was King’s closest election win.
King announced last week that he plans to hold town halls in all 39 counties in the district from the end of January to mid-December this year. In a statement, he said the town halls “are an opportunity for members of the public to express their concerns to me, and for me to deliver my constituents an overview of the work I am doing in Washington on their behalf.” King has previously told the Sioux City Journal that town halls had become a place for paid protestors.