On Tuesday, voters in western Iowa could be deciding who their next Congressman is. The district is heavily republican, so whoever wins the primary most likely goes to Congress. The candidates share the same ideological views, so they’ve focused on their experience and leadership styles instead. 48-year-old Brent Siegrist of Council Bluffs talks about his 18-year-long record in the Iowa Legislature, where he is the top ranking republican in the House. But Siegrist, who’s a former teacher and coach, isn’t the only candidate touting his legislative experience. 52-year-old Steve King of Kiron, a Senator, says he has the most conservative voting record. King, who owns an earth-moving company, points to his work to declare English Iowa’s “Official Language.” But fellow State Senator John Redwine of Sioux City touts the fact that he’s the race who actually farms. Redwine, who’s 51, makes his living as a physician and hospital administrator, but he also plants a row crop and raises feeder lambs. The political newcomer in the race, 37-year-old Jeff Ballenger of Council Bluffs, says his rivals have spent too much time in office. Ballenger, who runs an auto repair business and a chain of car washes, says western Iowa voters have a history of elected Congressmen from the private sector. To win the primary, a candidate must get at least 35 percent of the vote and that could be tough with four strong candidates. If no one reaches that 35-percent threshold, the Republican Party will hold a district convention where county delegates will decide the outcome.
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