The moderate Republican Main Street Partnership PAC is endorsing Representative Steve King’s 2020 opponent Randy Feenstra, making it the first national Republican PAC to come out against King’s reelection following allegations that he harbors white nationalist sentiments.
King, who has elicited controversy and criticism from fellow Republicans for alleged xenophobia, defeated Democratic challenger J. D. Scholten by a mere three percent in 2018, and has been struggling to keep up in fundraising with Feenstra, an Iowa state senator, in the state’s deeply red Fourth District.
“As a landowner in Iowa’s 4th District, it’s frustrating to know that nothing is getting done on our behalf in Congress. I know how this system works,” Doug Ose, RMSP PAC‘s treasurer and a former congressman, told Axios. “The district deserves representation.”
Last week, Feenstra’s campaign announced a haul of nearly $200,000 for the fourth quarter, bringing his total contributions to more than $720,000 for the year, and likely outraising King for the fourth straight quarter.
In August, King said only death could keep him from running for a tenth term in 2020.
“I don’t think anybody has faced such a nearly perfect storm as I have faced,” King told the Washington Examiner.
The Republican drew heavy criticism for comments in a New York Times interview in which he seemingly defended white nationalism and white supremacy, with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell calling King’s words “unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position.” King has defended himself and said he was misquoted.
In August, King added flames to the fire by suggesting in a speech against abortion that “would there be any population in the world left” without incest and rape.
Feenestra slammed the comments on Twitter.
“I am 100% pro-life but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message & damage our cause. Trump needs defenders in Congress, not distractions,” the Iowa state senator wrote.