Defending Main Street, a center-right super PAC, is launching an effort this week to try and replace Congressman Steve King with one of his Republican challengers, Fox News reported.
The super PAC is expected to spend “just over $100,000” on “microtargeting online, phone calls, and mail pieces,” according to Fox News.
According to its website, “Defending Main Street won 70% of House races funded in 2018 and now have over 50 members sitting in Congress.” Democrats won back the House in 2018 with the help of Iowa Reps. Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne who unseated Republicans, and Dave Loebsack who held onto his district.
King is in a five-way primary for the 4th District seat in Western Iowa, with state Sen. Randy Feenstra seen as his greatest threat. Feenstra has pulled in top donors and endorsements from Iowa legislators and Republican leaders that have eluded King this cycle, including Republican Main Street Partnership, a political nonprofit aligned with the Defending Main Street super PAC.
“Randy really is a perfect mainstreet guy,” Sarah Chamberlain, CEO of Republican Main Street Partnership PAC, told Fox News.
The Partnership describes its members as “Republicans who can win in swing districts” and those who support “good government and pragmatic conservatism in Congress.”
King never has been a prolific fundraiser — raising only $42,917 in the first three months of the year — and has long alienated more moderate Republicans because of his extreme viewpoints on immigration, abortion and other issues. The schism has widened since King was removed from his committee assignments in January 2019 after opining in a New York Times article about white supremacy and questioning why it was offense. King insists he was misquoted, but has gone on to make more incendiary comments, including last summer when he came under nationwide scrutiny for questioning whether modern civilization would exist without rape and incest.
In March he voted against a coronavirus relief bill and then proceeded to post a series of memes on Facebook mocking the deadly virus.
King’s closest general election matchup came in 2018 when Democrat J.D. Scholten struck within three points of unseating the 17-year incumbent. If King survives the June 2 primary, he will face Scholten again in November.
By Elizabeth Meyer
Iowa Starting Line is an independently-owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.