Steve King’s 2018 Challenger Announces He’s Taking on the Congressman Again in 2020

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Congressman Steve King beat Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten by less than three points in 2018. It was the closest race in King’s history on Capitol Hill. And, on Monday, Scholten announced that he will run against King again in 2020.

Scholten announced his run in a minute-and-a-half long video on Monday, narrated by actor Kevin Costner. The video never mentions King or Scholten but instead centers around scenes of rural Iowa and finishes with a close-up shot of Scholten.

Here’s that clip:

The Democratic challenger is a young former minor league baseball player who famously campaigned in an R.V. for months throughout the 2018 race. Scholten had previously been considering a run against Republican Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa, who is up for re-election in 2020.

Scholten’s 2018 race gained national media attention, in part because Steve King is such a controversial figure in Congress.

King has been in Congress since 2003, and his 2018 race was the closest margin of victory in his history in the House of Representatives. Though both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators are Republicans, King is the only Republican representing Iowa in the House of Representatives — Democrats occupy the state’s three other seats.

The Iowa congressman has been the subject of several controversies. In 2018, he compared immigrants to dirt, and a few months later, he amplified the views of a British white nationalist who previously announced that he was an admirer of Adolf Hitler’s policies.

King was finally punished for his racist talking points in early 2019 when he was removed from his committee assignments following an interview with the New York Times in which he questioned why terms like “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization” were offensive and wondered when they became offensive.

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