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Feenstra Defeats Scholten In Iowa's 4th Congressional District

Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, chairs the senate Ways and Means committee. 3/26/2020
John Pemble
IPR file
Sen. Randy Feenstra will be headed to the U.S. Capitol in January to represent Iowa's 4th District.

Republican State Sen. Randy Feenstra has defeated Democrat J.D. Scholten to represent Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, filling the U.S. House seat held by outgoing nine-term Rep. Steve King.

Feenstra, a three-term state senator and Dordt University professor, took 62 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. He cruised to victory against Scholten on Tuesday after beating King by nearly 10 points in the June Republican primary.

Speaking from the Hull Public Library in northwest Iowa's Sioux County, Feenstra reflected on launching his congressional campaign nearly 2 years ago.

“I launched my campaign for Congress because I believed Iowa and the 4th District needed a seat at the table,” Feenstra said. “They needed somebody with a proven, effective conservative voice that could get things done and create results for the people of the 4th District in Congress.”

Feenstra ran on his record in the Iowa Senate, touting tax cuts and expanded ethanol consumption. He listed a few things he wants to do in Congress, like getting the national debt "under control" and fighting for farmers.

“I want to make sure I secure a seat on the ag. committee to ensure that we can expand ethanol,” Feenstra said. “That we can make sure that our products can be brought around worldwide.”

Scholten, in his concession speech, said he was “bummed,” about the results, but that his campaign worked hard.

“I think a lot about my baseball days and think about when you prepare yourself and you do everything right, sometimes things are just outside of your ability,” Scholten said. “It’s just one of those things.”

Scholten ran against King in 2018, and lost by just 3 points.

The 4th Congressional District spans 39 counties in northwest and north-central Iowa. It is the state's most conservative district.

Katie Peikes was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio from 2018 to 2023. She joined IPR as its first-ever Western Iowa reporter, and then served as the agricultural reporter.