After nine terms in the U.S. House, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) fell short in Tuesday’s Republican primary to state Sen. Randy Feenstra.
According to the New York Times, Feenstra garnered 45.7 percent of the vote while King lagged nearly ten points behind with 36 percent. The remaining candidates were in single digits.
Long-known for his anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant statements, King found himself rebuked via a House resolution after he made comments suggesting he supported white nationalism. As a result, he was stripped of all his committee assignments.
No friend to the LGBTQ community, over his years in office he virulently opposed marriage equality.
He railed against the Iowa Supreme Court when same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa in 2009. So much so that he spent $80,000 in campaign advertising against three of those justices when they were up for retention in 2010. None of the justices retained their seats.
King called the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made marriage equality the law of the land, “perverted.” He then called for a House resolution to defy the ruling.
King also introduced an amendment in 2012 seeking to ban same-sex weddings on military bases, even though the GOP-controlled House had approved of the weddings.
The 17-year veteran of Congress also argued in support of Donald Trump’s ban of transgender military service members.
But, to be clear, Mr. Feenstra is not much better on LGBTQ issues.
In 2011, he introduced a state constitutional amendment that would wipe out the 2009 state supreme court decision that legalized marriage equality in Iowa.
Feenstra also voted in favor of an appropriations measure that would prohibit the use of Iowa Medicaid dollars to pay for transgender surgeries.
Feenstra will face J.D. Scholten in November’s general election. In 2018, Scholten came close to beating King (47% – 50%) in the 2018 race for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District