Iowa’s 4th Congressional District will stay with Republicans for at least another two years, albeit with a different representative for the first time in 18 years.
The Associated Press called the race at 11:19 p.m. for state Sen. Randy Feenstra of Hull. Feenstra leads Democrat J.D. Scholten 62% to 38%, according to unofficial election results.
— Randy Feenstra (@RandyFeenstra) November 4, 2020
Feenstra has represented Senate District 2 in the Iowa Legislature since 2009. He has worked in the insurance industry and is a professor at Dordt University in Sioux Center.
Once Congressman Steve King was unseated by Feenstra in Iowa’s June primary, the race was made more difficult for Scholten in a district where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 719,591 to 699,001. Though Scholten only lost to King by 3 percentage points in 2018, that was a wave election year for Democrats and he was competing against a highly controversial candidate. Feenstra, though he may be just as socially conservative as King, is a more polished politician and less prone to outlandish comments, particularly on immigration and race.
King said Tuesday he “enthusiastically voted for Trump” but did not “fill in the oval” for Feenstra.
I enthusiastically voted for Trump first thing this morning but I couldn’t get my hand to fill in the oval for the Republican nominee for Congress.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) November 3, 2020
Despite the long odds, Scholten did not shy away from meeting voters and making his case in conservative Western Iowa. Last fall, Scholten kicked off his “Don’t Forget About Us” tour and held town hall meetings in towns of less than 1,000 people in each of the district’s 39 counties. And this summer, he pledged to visit all 374 towns in the 4th District, a feat he accomplished early in October.
“I’m forever grateful for everyone who has shared their personal stories with us, welcomed us into their businesses or farm, and donated a piece of their paycheck or their time to help us fight for change,” Scholten said Tuesday night in a statement. “I urge the countless Iowans who have found their voices advocating for causes important to them to not let this moment be the end of their advocacy and political engagement, but the beginning.”
Iowa’s election results are unofficial until ballot canvasses are conducted. County officials must hold canvasses in all 99 counties by Nov. 10. The statewide canvass will be completed by Nov. 30 and then the Iowa Executive Council certifies the results. Absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by noon Nov. 9 will be counted.
By Elizabeth Meyer
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