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Rep. Steve King's primary challenger slams his 'caustic nature'

Bridget Bowman, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- Controversial Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King will face a primary challenger, with GOP state Sen. Randy Feenstra announcing Wednesday that he is running in the 4th District.

Feenstra, the assistant majority leader in the state Senate, did not mention the eight-term incumbent by name in his statement announcing he was forming a congressional campaign committee, but slammed the incumbent's lack of influence.

"Today, Iowa's 4th District doesn't have a voice in Washington, because our current representative's caustic nature has left us without a seat at the table," Feenstra said in a news release. "We don't need any more sideshows or distractions, we need to start winning for Iowa's families."

King drew renewed criticism late last year over racist remarks and posts on social media linked to white nationalists. The National Republican Congressional Committee declined to support him even as his race tightened.

King's campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but he appeared to be attempting to counter criticism that he was neglecting his district, announcing Monday that he would hold town hall meetings in all of its 39 counties.

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King narrowly won re-election by 3 points, defeating Democratic attorney JD Scholten in the solidly Republican district in Northwest Iowa. President Donald Trump won the 4th District by 27 points in 2016.

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