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The Crawford County Republican chair filed a complaint with the Denison Police Department against Congressperson Randy Feenstra for Feenstra’s behavior at an event last month.

Eileen Sailer, the chair of the Crawford County Republicans, filed the complaint after another member of law enforcement encouraged her to after she described the experience.

Sailer told the Denison Police that she had been “bottling up” an incident that happened on May 20 at Bella Sera.

According to the complaint, Sailer had asked the staff of Congressperson Feenstra numerous times if he would be attending a candidate forum in Crawford County. She again reached out an event in Denison. Sailer asked Congressperson Feenstra’s staffer — Emily Schwickerath — who told Sailer she would have to check Congressperson Feenstra’s schedule.

Feenstra then confronted Sailer, shoving his fist and finger in her face. According to the complaint, Feenstra asked “Why should I come to your forum when you endorsed my opponent.”

The Denison Police attempted to obtain surveillance footage from the event, but the owner of the facility said cameras were in the back of the restaurant and bar area. There were no cameras where the incident took place. The owner also said he did not see any incident take place during the event other than someone leaving upset for not being acknowledged during the event.

The case is under investigation.

Sailer told The Iowa Standard that the “anger” Congressperson Feenstra expressed to her was “unbelievable.”

“It rocked my world,” she said. “I didn’t expect it.”

A death in the family a day later forced the incident to the back burner, but after the funeral was over Sailer said it all came back to her again.

She talked with a member of law enforcement and explained what happened and that individual told Sailer not to let it go. Later that day she went to file the complaint.

“First of all, I would never vote for Randy Feenstra again — that’s done for — but I never was rude to him,” she said. “Honest to God — that is not my nature to be rude. But he was so mad that I endorsed Kevin Virgil and I wondered why, what fuse did that set off in (Feenstra)?”

Sailer said while Feenstra was putting his finger in her face, he said Sailer wore a Kevin Virigl sticker to the state convention.

Feenstra, who had a blood clot surgery and missed the state convention, wasn’t even there.

“He went off on me,” Sailer said. “He was so angry and just spitting words out at me. The other day when I made my police statement I broke into tears again. I am not a weak person.”

Sailer said in her consulting career, she dealt with difficult individuals who would express frustration with her and she would tell them she doesn’t let her husband talk to her like that and would not let them talk to her like that.

“They would always back down,” she said. “But not Randy. He was so mad. When I got home I told my husband about it and my husband was furious.”

Sailer added that, for what it’s worth, it wasn’t her forum.

“It was for Feenstra to visit with the people in Crawford County,” she said.

As for Feenstra’s anger that Sailer endorsed Virgil, she pointed out Feenstra has been supported by Gov. Kim Reynolds, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Chuck Grassley and others.

“Everybody else in the party (establishment) has endorsed Feenstra and he’s worried about me voting for Kevin Virgil,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. After it happened I was holding myself together because he did it in front of other people. He so embarrassed me and humiliated me. I made my way out the door to get the heck out of there, went to my car and broke down.”

Sailer said a man approached her and asked if she wanted him to go in and “take care” of Feenstra, but she said “absolutely not.”

Another man told Sailer later that he saw what Congressperson Feenstra did to her and said it was wrong.

“I’m a 76-year-old woman,” Sailer said. “I’m not very tall. I don’t understand it.”



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