Republican Senator Joni Ernst; Randy Feenstra, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s fourth congressional district; and J.D. Scholten, the Democratic candidate in the district, all expressed support for the federal investigation of price fixing in the cattle industry.
The candidates were asked about current derecho recovery measures and if they’d like to see something done differently. Scholten answered first, focusing on the governor’s request for federal assistance to storm victims.
“There’s still 26 counties that are not getting it from an individual standpoint,” he said.
Feenstra praised President Trump for visiting Cedar Rapids last week and for declaring Iowa a major disaster area.
“The federal government is now stepping up and our government officials have stepped up and made a difference,” Feenstra said.
Ernst said there has been “a fast federal response,” but some families who lost their homes in the derecho still need help with food and shelter.
“We still have a lot of devastation out there and we’re leaning heavily on FEMA to make it right,” Ernst said.
Near the end of the 90-minute event, the candidates were asked about the professional athletes striking to bring attention to racial justice and “whether there’s an answer to the nation’s cultural divide.” Scholten quoted a passage from Proverbs about speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
“I’m glad to see especially professional athletes getting active and using their platforms to better this nation,” Scholten said.
Feenstra said the divide in the country is “devastating” to see.
“As Christians, as people who are Americans we have to get together and collaborate and understand our differences,” he said, “and learn how to be kind and love one another.”
Earlier in the forum, Feenstra denounced violence against police and destruction of property in “liberal cities” like Portland and Minneapolis. Ernst, as she answered the question about racial tensions, accused Senate Democrats of blocking action on police and criminal justice reform.
“It’s not that they want to find solutions,” Ernst said. “Now my opponent will support a position of dismantling our police, not just correcting injustice as it is out there, but actually getting rid of the police which is not the direction that Iowans want to see.”
A spokesperson for Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield’s campaign said Greenfield does not support defunding the police and the Greenfield campaign accused Ernst of “making false, desperate claims” because she can’t explain her own voting record.
Ernst closed tonight’s event in Spencer by criticizing Greenfield for — in Ernst’s words “not showing up.” Greenfield’s campaign cited a scheduling conflict and pointed to two events both candidates were invited to this summer that Ernst did not attend.
Tonight’s forum was sponsored by the Spencer Daily Reporter, the Spencer Radio Group and Spencer Municipal Utilities. It was broadcast live on KICD on air and online.