Republicans across the country breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday as controversial Rep. Steve King went down to a primary defeat in Iowa. King had embarrassed the GOP on numerous occasions with bigoted comments.
King, who had served as the fourth district congressman since 2003, lost the primary battle to state Sen. Randy Feenstra by a healthy margin. Politico reports that King trailed Feenstra by 36 to 46 percent with nearly all precincts reporting.
King was last the focus of the news in January 2019 when he defended white nationalism in a New York Times interview. The controversy led House Republicans to strip King of his committee assignments and he narrowly avoided being formally censured.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” King had asked rhetorically.
In 2018, King’s support of white supremacists and use of divisive and racially charged rhetoric led the chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee to denounce him as a racist and cut off support for his campaign.
Per the Dallas Morning News, Rep. Steve Stivers said in a tweet, “Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.”
Decent Republicans across the country can rest a little easier knowing that King will soon no longer be able to embarrass the party with his antics. Democrats might feel differently since King’s foot-in-mouth disease often provided them with fodder to attack Republicans. Like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for the Democrats, Steve King was an albatross around the neck of the GOP.
Randy Feenstra will face Democrat J.D. Scholten, a paralegal and retired baseball player in the general election in November. Scholten was unopposed in the Democratic primary.