Top Republicans and conservative outside groups are rallying around Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) challenger ahead of the June 2 primary election, worried that the nine-term lawmaker’s record of inflammatory remarks will be a drag on the GOP everywhere.
Party leaders such as Karl Rove and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), have donated to businessman Randy Feenstra, who has emerged as King’s top challenger for the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.
National groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Realtors and the Defending Main Street super PAC are spending heavily in favor of Feenstra. The challenger has also received endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee and the Republican Jewish Coalition, giving him key allies in the effort to unseat King.
Scott Reed, a political strategist for the U.S. Chamber, said he’s worried that King is so toxic that it could drag down Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R-Iowa) reelection bid, potentially imperiling the GOP’s Senate majority.
“We care about maintaining a Republican majority in the Senate and we’re concerned Steve King will be an albatross to Joni Ernst,” Reed said. “She is going to need every vote in rural Iowa that she can get.”
The King campaign did not return a request for comment.
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