© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
IPR20012_Website_Header_Option2_NewsNavy.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Election results 2022: Feenstra defeats Melton in 4th Congressional District race

Rep. Randy Feenstra on a graphic showing he wins the 4th Congressional District
Rep. Randy Feenstra has won reelection.

Feenstra will serve a second term as representative for the 4th Congressional District in a decisive victory over Democrat Ryan Melton.

Republican Rep. Randy Feenstra defeated Democratic challenger Ryan Melton in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District race. The former state senator will serve a second term in Congress, representing the state’s most conservative district.

Feenstra took a decisive victory, taking more than two-thirds of the district vote.

The incumbent campaigned on his commitment to ethanol production, curbing inflation and a promise to support anti-abortion bills.

Surrounded by his family at the Hull Public Library in northwest Iowa, Feenstra expressed gratitude for the chance to serve another term in D.C.

Rep. Randy Feenstra speaks to a crowd, flanked by supporters holding "Randy Feenstra for Congress" signs.
Kendall Crawford
/
The Associated Press called Iowa's 4th District race for Rep. Randy Feenstra. Feenstra took a decisive victory, taking more than two-thirds of the vote in the Republican stronghold.

“The voters look at what’s been done in the last two years and they understand that they need someone with a loud voice,” he said. “I think of our agricultural community, our small businesses and our families. They need someone that can have a seat at the table and get things done for them. Not for the people around the nation, but for Iowans.”

The 44-county district covers western Iowa and stretches northeast, representing Sioux City, Ames and Council Bluffs. It also includes smaller but fast-growing communities with diverse populations, like Storm Lake and Denison.

But, it’s a largely rural region, housing four of the top five counties for hog operations and three of the top five counties for cattle inventory. Feenstra is a native of Sioux County – which leads the state in cattle production.

The voters look at what’s been done in the last two years and they understand that they need someone with a loud voice... I think of our agricultural community, our small business and our families. They need someone that can have a seat at the table and get things done for them. Not for the people around the nation, but for Iowans.
Rep. Randy Feenstra

It has been a reliably Republican district throughout the years, with 51% of active voters identifying as Republican as of this November. Independent voters outnumber Democrats, making up a fourth of active voters.

Prior to Feenstra’s election in 2020, the office was held by former Rep. Steve King for nine terms. Feenstra defeated King in the 2020 primary, after King was stripped of his committee assignments for controversial comments he made regarding white supremacy.

In his victory speech, Feenstra reflected on his first two years in office. He touted his conservative voting record, saying he used his term to fight for Iowa farmers.

He highlighted his support of the expansion of biofuel infrastructure and agricultural aid for those impacted by the 2020 derecho. He said he’ll continue to prioritize producers’ needs.

“That means getting inflation under control. It means securing our borders. It also means making sure we become energy independent as a country,” Feenstra said.

Before being elected to Congress, Feenstra was a local city administrator in his hometown of Hull. He also served stints as a country treasurer and served three terms as a state senator.

He said he feels optimistic about what he’ll be able to accomplish in another two years.

“It’s time to fix our country together,” he said.

Election Results

U.S. House Balance of Power

4th Congressional District

Iowa's 4th Congressional District covers the entirety of Iowa's western border and includes Ames, Fort Dodge and Sioux City. The district includes a vast collection of small cities and rural areas, many of which have been losing population for years. The district also includes some of the most racially diverse communities in the state, such as Storm Lake and Denison, where the Latino population has grown dramatically in recent years. After the most recent redistricting process, it remains a conservative stronghold for the state.

A map of Iowa is shown outlining the new Congressional Districts.
A map of Iowa's new congressional districts.

The candidates

Randy Feenstra

Rep. Feenstra is a former college professor and state senator. He was the Sioux County treasurer from 2006 to 2008. He defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in the primary election for the Republican nomination for Iowa's 4th Congressional District in 2020.

Feenstra has said he wants to continue advocating for Iowa's agricultural interests and “conservative values” in Washington D.C.

Ryan Melton

Democratic congressional candidate Ryan Melton is a Nevada, Iowa native and supervisor for Nationwide Insurance. He said he's running to fix the problems contributing to rural population losses, including improving quality of life by investing in health care, child care and raising the minimum wage.

Kendall is Iowa Public Radio’s western Iowa reporter based in Sioux City, IA.