Speculation is increasing that Congressman Steve King will soon have an official primary challenge just a day after the 116th Congress gaveled in. Sources say Iowa State Senator Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) is strongly considering challenging the only Republican currently serving Iowa in the United States House of Representatives.
Sen. Feenstra was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008. Prior to that Feenstra was the sales manager for the Foreign Candy Company for seven years. He spent seven years as the Hull City Administrator before being elected Sioux County Treasurer in 2006.
Feenstra has never had an opponent in any primary or general election.
According to Feenstra’s bio on the Iowa Senate Republicans website:
“Senator Feenstra works diligently to further the Republican ideals for a smaller government, not creating any new taxes and curbing government spending in Iowa while at the Capitol.”
Feenstra chairs the Ways & Means Committee in the Iowa Senate. He also serves on the following committees: Commerce, Legislative Council, Rules & Administration, and State Government.
Feenstra tends to champion fiscal issues and stays away from controversy, though he has a strong social conservative voting record in the Senate.
Feenstra did drum up some controversy in 2015 when he called for a boycott of Des Moines over a water lawsuit against three rural counties.
According to KCCI, Feenstra wrote on his personal blog “being a rural Iowa legislator, I see this snob urban-versus-rural mentality on a regular basis. Urban cities no longer have any regard for the state’s agricultural community. I firmly believe that the power of our agricultural community needs to stand up against Des Moines.”
Feenstra added, “Iowa has plenty of great locations; we don’t need Des Moines and this arrogant mentality against rural Iowa.”
King survived a scare in the 2018 general election. Democrat J.D. Scholten received more than $1 million in last-minute donations after what King called “the perfect storm.”
The nine-term Congressman survived to beat Scholten by more than 10,400 votes.
King has had primaries the last two cycles, though his 2018 Republican challenger was never taken seriously. In 2016 Iowa State Senator Rick Bertrand attempted to beat King in a primary, but there was a 30-point difference between the two.
According to Project Vote Smart, Feenstra has an 83 percent voting record from American Conservative Union. Congressman King receives 92 percent from American Conservative Union.