Spencer businesswoman Leann Jacobsen has officially entered the Democratic primary for Iowa’s 4th District in the hopes of going toe-to-toe with Congressman Steve King next November. She had been considering a run for several weeks, and kicked off her candidacy this morning with a campaign website and video:
In the video she comments on the strong communities in Northwest Iowa that are still facing serious problems, pointing to rural hospitals in particular (Jacobsen is a board member for Spencer Hospital). She labels King as “just another politician” who doesn’t focus on the real needs of his district.
“A politician who is mostly interested in playing politics and getting headlines for himself,” Jacobsen says of King as the video shows King on cable news. “Too often, he’s doing the bidding of special interests instead of tackling the problems of families in Northwest Iowa.”
That seems like a message aimed at independent voters in the conservative Western Iowa district that might be tired of King’s grandstanding on racial and international political issues. Though Democrats have desperately hoped to defeat King every election cycle, the closest they came was an eight-point loss with former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack in 2012. To have a chance this time they’ll need to find a way to peel off independent and moderate or business-oriented Republicans who get think King’s rhetoric is a distraction.
Jacobsen also highlights her successful career in small business in Northwest Iowa, where she’s helped create startup opportunities for other entrepreneurs. Part of the video is shot in her coffee and wine shop located in Spencer.
Read more on Jacobsen in our previous profile here.
Her entrance into the race today sets up a two-way Democratic primary for the 4th District. Former baseball player J.D. Scholten of Sioux City launched his campaign a few weeks back.
by Pat Rynard