IA-04: Steve King is sitting pretty

Representative Steve King is having a good week. The nine-term incumbent wrapped up his taxpayer-funded, 39-county town hall tour in front of a “receptive” Sac County audience on September 21. Five days later, yet another Republican announced plans to run for Congress in Iowa’s fourth district.

Bret Hayworth of the Sioux City Journal was first to report on Steve Reeder’s candidacy. His platform is so generic it could be a computer-generated agglomeration of conservative buzzwords.

Steve Reeder, 58, of Arnolds Park, has balancing the federal budget, revitalizing rural areas and access to quality health care as key issues for his campaign. “Working Together” is his campaign slogan.

In a release, Reeder said, “I want to create task teams from communities in the 4th District, so that concerns, ideas and solutions may be heard. I want to provide transparent dialogue to restore trust and confidence in representation in Washington. By working together, we can create common sense legislation.”

He said individual freedoms in the Constitution should be maintained, so “justice, peace and prosperity” can flourish.

If Reeder and other declared candidates follow through, King will face four GOP primary challengers. Besides Reeder:

  • State Senator Randy Feenstra has raised the most money and attracted the most establishment support, most recently from 220 Republican college students across the district and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa, “a non-profit construction trade association” with more than 540 member firms. This week, Feenstra tried to capitalize on a story that dominated Iowa water cooler and social media conversations, saying he will invite Carson King to be his guest in the state legislature and will introduce an Iowa Senate resolution supporting King’s fundraising for the children’s hospital at the University of Iowa.
  • Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor is campaigning extensively, doing media interviews and getting good reviews from Republican sources who have heard his stump speech at public events around the district.
  • Bret Richards has raised very little money but claims to have already collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
  • I stand by my view that King could beat any of these candidates in a head-to-head race. The heaviest hitters in the Iowa GOP may be talking down the incumbent behind the scenes, but their public neutrality works in King’s favor. Outrageous comments that generate negative media coverage for King may resonate with rank and file Republicans. His town hall meetings attracted mostly friendly audiences.

    A splintered field improves King’s prospects. Even if 60-some percent of GOP primary voters are open to supporting someone else (which I doubt), King could win the nomination outright with a plurality of 35 percent or more.

    I haven’t found a campaign website or Facebook page for Reeder. UPDATE: Here are links to his website, Facebook, and Twitter.

    To follow the other candidates in IA-04:

    King: website, Facebook, Twitter
    Feenstra: website, Facebook, Twitter
    Taylor: website, Facebook, Twitter
    Richards: website, Facebook, Twitter

    Democrat J.D. Scholten: website, Facebook, Twitter

    UPDATE: Although King has no committee assignments, his ability to vote on measures that come before the House still gives him plenty of opportunity to make news. For instance, on September 26 King voted against a resolution that would terminate the state of emergency President Donald Trump declared in February. Here’s his official news release, full of messages that would please his conservative constituents.

    King Votes in Support of President Trump’s Effort to Build the Wall
    “Speaker Pelosi should be holding votes in the House of Representatives on the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal, but she is increasingly choosing to waste the House’s time on political stunts designed to appease her Trump-hating caucus.”

    Washington DC- Congressman Steve King releases this statement after voting against S. J. Res 54, legislation that seeks to terminate the national emergency declared by President Trump in February. President Trump declared a national emergency to address the ongoing national security and humanitarian crisis on the border with Mexico. When a similar resolution passed in March, President Trump vetoed the measure.

    “The Open-Borders lobby never sleeps, and they have brought yet another bill to the floor in an attempt to end President Trump’s ongoing, important work to secure our border with Mexico,” said King. “I support President Trump’s effort to build a wall, and I encourage him to veto this bill when it is presented to him. Speaker Pelosi should be holding votes in the House of Representatives on the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal, but she is increasingly choosing to waste the House’s time on political stunts designed to appease her Trump-hating caucus.”

    S.J. Res 54 passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 236-174, with King voting against the bill. It has previously passed the Senate on a vote of 54-41, falling far short of the votes it would need in either chamber to override a veto if issued by President Trump.


    Congressman King has consistently supported President Trump’s efforts to secure our border with Mexico. Here are some recent examples:

    Feb. 14, 2019: King Statement On National Emergency Declaration for Border Security.

    Feb. 26, 2019: King Stands with Trump Against Pelosi’s Attempt to Block the Wall.

    Mar. 26, 2019: King Votes in Support of President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration.

    Trump snubbed King by not letting him fly on Air Force One in June, and by not name-checking him during a big Iowa GOP fundraiser in West Des Moines. Nevertheless, King will campaign as a supporter of Trump’s agenda, and probably will earn a lot of goodwill among rank and file Republicans.

    LATER UPDATE: Here’s the Reeder campaign’s official announcement.

    Steve Reeder Announces Congressional Election Bid
    Arnolds Park, IA, Sep: Steve Reeder announces his bid for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District. Reeder seeks the Republican nomination in Iowa’s Primary on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

    “I value God, family, and our country. Our Constitution upholds the supreme law and framework for our country so as to honor our individual freedoms. It maintains “We the People” may benefit from the “Blessings of Liberty” such as justice, peace, and prosperity,” Reeder said.

    “I want to create task teams from communities in the Fourth District so that concerns, ideas, and solutions will be heard. I want to provide transparent dialogue to restore trust and confidence in representation in Washington. By working together, we can create common-sense legislation,” Reeder discussed.

    For the past 35 years, Reeder has worked in the real estate brokerage and development business. Building a network of long-term clients and established relationships in the industries of farming, trucking, light manufacturing, livestock production, farm implement business, and other agriculture-related businesses has allowed Steve to grow his business successfully. His experience also includes consulting clients on 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, railroad properties, and state right-of-way. He maintains high standards and ethics for business and entrepreneurial excellence. He understands the realities that Iowa industries and businesses face in taking risks and making decisions.

    As a commercial real estate broker, Steve was a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). Steve is a current member of the Iowa Farmers Union, Organic Farmers Association, and Iowa Prairie Network. He was a board member of his local Pheasants Forever chapter for 17 years and served as Habitat Chairman, which included the development of numerous habitat projects. For six years, he was a mentor for Tom and Nancy Osborne’s TeamMates Mentoring Program. He served on the Advisory Board of the Budge Porter Project in Omaha. He volunteered helping youth for the nonprofit organization of Solutions for Change. Steve is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Marketing Education.

    Steve has been married to his wife, Brenda, for 31 years. For the past decade, they have been buying, building, and/or renovating residential and commercial properties. Brenda grew up in Pocahontas, Iowa. Steve and Brenda have two daughters. Emily Rose graduated from Pepperdine University Seaver College, is married, and runs her own business. Anna graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She is attending graduate school at Columbia University in New York City.

    For more information about Steve Reeder, please visit www.reederforcongress.com

    Top image: Steve King with his four declared Republican primary challengers. Top row, from left: Randy Feenstra and Jeremy Taylor. Bottom row: Bret Richards, Steve Reeder.

    About the Author(s)

    Laura Belin

    • Medicare

      Feenstra and Taylor have talked openly of phasing out Medicare, in the name of a healthy capitalism.

      I’m turning on my death stare. They will need to explain who wins and who loses with their proposal. They’ll get that done over my dead body.

    • Environment

      Steve King has a lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters of 4%. That puts him right down at the bottom of the barrel along with Iowa’s two current U.S. Senators.

      I’m old enough to remember when Iowa sent people to Washington D.C. who actually helped to address environmental challenges, rather than make them worse. And believe it or not, the Republican Party was not always the party of Kill The Planet With Fire. Yeah, I’m old.