Republican Congressman Steve King is suggesting his run for a 10th tern in the U.S. House is in better shape than Republican Senator Joni Ernst’s bid for a second term in the U.S. Senate.
“I’m not the one that’s vulnerable here any longer,” King said. “Joni Ernst is the one we need to stand behind and get behind and that’s why we have to unify this party and the sooner we do it, the stronger we are going to be.”
Ernst has not endorsed King’s re-election bid, but she has not endorsed any of his four challengers either.
“We feel great about where we are,” Brook Ramlet, a spokeswoman for Ernst’s campaign said in a written statement. “Joni will continue to work hard to deliver for Iowans…and elect Republicans up and down the ballot.”
King, who made his comments about Ernst at a Hamilton County GOP fundraiser in Webster City on Saturday night, recently released a poll in the fourth congressional district conducted for his campaign that showed him leading his GOP competitors.
The four Republicans who have launched campaigns to challenge King in next June’s primary also addressed the crowd in Webster City. Jeremy Taylor, a National Guard chaplain who is a Woodbury County Supervisor, said he’s running because King and other Republicans didn’t accomplish much in 2017 and 2018 when they held both houses of congress and the White House.
“They didn’t stand for life. They didn’t secure the border when they had the change and they could not cut $1 billion out of $4 trillion in spending,” Taylor said.
State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull, a professor at Dordt College, touted his recent endorsements from former Governor Terry Branstad and Branstad’s son. Eric Branstad managed President Trump’s Iowa campaign for the 2016 General Election.
“First of all, I stand with President Trump. We must build a wall. We must get immigration under control,” Feenstra said. “Number two: we have out-of-control spending. We balanced the budget every year in the Iowa legislature and we must do the same in congress.”
Former Irwin Mayor Bret Richards and Steve Reeder, an Arnolds Park real estate developer — the other two announced GOP candidates in Iowa’s fourth congressional district — also spoke at the event.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)