Randy Feenstra

Republican Congressman Steve King will face a primary challenge if he seeks a 10th term in the U.S. House next year.

Republican State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull announced this morning he will run for congress in the fourth congressional district.

“I just think it’s time to have an effective, conservative leader in the fourth congressional district,” Feenstra told KIWA Radio. “We need to have a person that can create policy for Main Street and agriculture and who has our shared conservative values.”

Feenstra, who called King “caustic” in a written statement, said the fourth district “doesn’t have a voice” in Washington right now because of “sideshows and distractions” from King.

“Over the last 12 years I’ve been in the Iowa Senate and I have a track record for cutting taxes, creating jobs, protecting life, defending the Second Amendment,” Feenstra said, “so I think it’s time to send a conservative to Washington that has a seat at the table for the fourth district.”

The district has a significant Republican voter registration edge, but Democrat J.D. Scholten came within about 11,000 votes of defeating King in November. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who won the district by 18 points, said after the election that King has to decide whether he wants to be in congress or do something else.

Last week, King announced he’d hold town hall meetings in each of the district’s 39 counties — a practice King had suspended after complaining “paid protesters” were disrupting his events. King has drawn rebukes from fellow Republicans over the years. A key House Republican publicly condemned King’s behavior in late October, saying it’s important to “stand up against white supremacy and hate.”

Feenstra has been the Sioux County Treasurer and the city administrator in Hull. His congressional campaign website invites supporters to “help fulfill our promise to Make America Great Again!”

“The fourth district voters need somebody that can create change, who can go to Washington and make things happen,” Feenstra said during the radio interview. “I just think Congressman King has been there 16 years and it’s time for a change.”

Feenstra is currently teaching at Dordt College in Sioux Center.

(Additional reporting by Scott Van Aartsen, KIWA, Sheldon)

(This post was updated at 11:31 a.m. with additional information.)