Scholten cites ‘unfinished business’

Democrat plans to visit each county in 4th Congressional District

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
J.D. Scholten, Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, speaks with local supporters during a meet and greet event at Sneakers Eatery and Pub on Wednesday night.

J.D. Scholten feels he has unfinished business in his race against Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

The Democratic candidate made a stop in Fort Dodge to meet with supporters and community members on Wednesday evening. Scholten, of Sioux City, hosted a meet and greet event at Sneakers Eatery and Pub just over a week after annoucing his second bid to unseat King. Scholten previously ran against King in the 2018 election cycle, where he fell short by 3.8 points, the narrowest margin of victory for King since his eight-point win in 2012.

“A lot of why I decided to run again was we moved the needle 24 points, which was the third most in the nation and I think not only our campaign, my former staff, all these people — they felt there was some unfinished business,” Scholten said Wednesday night.

At the meet and greet, Scholten visited with about two dozen community members and answered their questions.

“How are we going to reach out to rural Iowa?” asked Kim Motl, of Fort Dodge.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Sophie Rivera, of Humboldt, and Daryl Beall, of Fort Dodge, listen to congressional candidate J.D. Scholten during a meet and greet event at Sneakers Eatery and Pub on Wednesday night.

Scholten answered that he’ll be visiting all 39 counties in the district and plans to partner with the Democratic presidential campaigns to reach out to and engage with rural voters.

“We have an opportunity now with the caucuses to have the level of excitement and bring more people into our party and just engage,” he said. “What I want to do is work with the presidential campaigns to get that excitement to the maximum.”

Scholten said that he will continue to run a “people-powered campaign” throughout this election cycle.

“We don’t take corporate PAC money so a lot of what our campaign is about is just everyday folks, and that was the strength of our campaign last time when we moved the needle so much, it’ll be again this time,” he said.

Scholten also responded to a controversial remark his opponent had made earlier in the day.

According to published news reports, King said that humanity might not exist if not for rape and incest, while talking to the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale on Wednesday morning.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest?” the congressman asked. “Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?”

On Wendesday night, Scholten called it a “disgusting comment,” but that King’s controversial words just distract from the issues Iowans are facing.

“We have 55,000 farmers in this district that have their backs against the walls,” Scholten said. “We have workers who have had stagnant wages for almost four decades now. Almost every gas station in this district has a donation box for someone who just got sick or someone who just got in the hospital — we have to beg for our medical expenses. And those things just pile on. Those are the issues … so when we give King oxygen for his controversy, it gets taken away from what’s really happening here in the district.”