© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

King, Loebsack Win Reelection To Congress

steve king
Katie Peikes/IPR
Steve King and his wife Marilyn address supporters Tuesday night in Sioux City.

Two of Iowa’s congressional incumbents won reelection Tuesday, though one of them ended up in a closer-than-usual race.  In the 4th District in northwest and north-central Iowa, Republican Steve King beat out Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten, 50 to 47 percent.  Libertarian Charles Aldrich got 2 percent of the vote. In his previous eight wins, King never received less than 53 percent of the vote.

During his victory speech in downtown Sioux City, King addressed the rash of national criticism [over his association with far-right politicians and groups in other countries, as well as comments about race].  He said recovering from the reports depended on the people of his district, who know who he is.

“Our whole card was this: You. You. You knew the truth all along,” King said. “You guarded my back, you guarded it at the coffee shops, you guarded it at the dinner table. You guarded it at church, you prayed for this campaign.”

King will be Iowa’s sole Republican in the House of Representatives in Congress, and a member of the minority in the chamber.  But in an interview following his victory speech, King said his good relationship with President Trump will help him in Washington.

“He and I have an ability to bring issues forward, talk them through and take action. One of them is the birthright citizenship bill."

King first introduced that bill in 2011 and President Trump has said he’ll move it through with an executive order.  However, many legal scholars are skeptical the president can do that.

In his concession speech, Scholten, a paralegal and former minor league baseball player, said he was “damn proud” of everything he accomplished, and left open the door for a future role in public life.

“My two political heroes, [Congressman] Berkley Bedell and [Sen.] Tom Harkin both lost their first race. You haven’t seen the last of J.D. Scholten!” he said.

Loebsack wins a seventh term

In the 2nd Congressional District in southeast Iowa, Democrat David Loebsack defeated Republican Christopher Peters for the second time in a row, this time 55 to 43 percent.  Instead of being the lone Democrat among Iowa’s congressional delegation, Loebsack will be one of three Democratic members of Congress from the state, and part of the chamber’s majority.

“Being in the majority, means that I’m going to be able to get more done for my district,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. It’ll be nice to have a couple more Democrats, but I’m going to work with whoever wants to work with me on the issues, whether it’s Iowa or outside of Iowa.”

Libertarian Mark Strauss got 2 percent of the vote.

Katie Peikes is IPR's agriculture reporter