Steve King's primary challenger raises more than $100k in first 10 days of campaign

Steve King's primary challenger raises more than $100k in first 10 days of campaign
© Greg Nash

Iowa Republican state Sen. Randy Feenstra raised more than $100,000 for his bid to oust embattled Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Steve King says 'left-wing media' and GOP leadership owe him apology after rape, incest comments 11 Essential reads you missed this week MORE (R-Iowa) just 10 days after declaring his candidacy, his campaign said Thursday.

Feenstra announced a primary challenge against King last week, saying at the time that the nine-term congressman had deprived constituents in Iowa’s 4th District of effective representation in Washington.

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"Since launching our campaign, the financial support and encouragement from conservatives across our district and the country has been overwhelming,” Feenstra said in a statement.

“Our early financial strength in this campaign proves that we will have the resources necessary to ensure the 4th District has the effective conservative leadership it deserves."

King, who has a reputation as one of the most anti-immigration member of Congress, has long been criticized for hitching his political brand to far-right and often racist positions.

But that scrutiny has intensified in recent days after The New York Times published an article last week in which King questioned when terms like “white nationalist,” “white supremacist” and “Western civilization” became “offensive.”

The Iowa Republican said after that article was published that he does not identify or advocate for white nationalism or white supremacy and suggested that the Times misconstrued his remarks.

Republican lawmakers in the House moved this week, however, to strip King of his committee assignments, including a post on the powerful Judiciary Committee and the Agriculture Committee.

The House also voted on Tuesday to rebuke King for his remarks, approving a resolution that broadly condemned white nationalism and white supremacism. King himself voted in favor of that resolution.

In addition to his recent remarks to the Times, King has also come under fire for supporting far-right candidates in Europe and Canada and for his hard-line positions on immigration, both legal and illegal.

King, who first won his House seat in 2002, has a history of winning reelection by double digits. But he only narrowly edged out Democrat J.D. Scholten last year, signaling that he may be increasingly vulnerable to a political challenge.

King's campaign ended November with $58,715 in cash on hand, according to his most recent federal filing. He also lost a handful of corporate agriculture donors last year, including companies like Purina and Land O'Lakes.

In his campaign announcement last week, Feenstra said that King’s “caustic nature” has left his constituents “without a seat at the table.”

“We don’t need any more sideshows or distractions, we need to start winning for Iowa’s families,” Feenstra said in a statement at the time.