The business lobbying group rarely endorses against Republican incumbents, underlining just how dire things are for Steve King.
The equally obnoxious Randy Feenstra is probably the Republicans' only chance at retaining the conservative, mostly rural congressional district Iowa-04, as Democrat J.D. Scholten has been breathing down Steve King's neck, with close elections in 2016 and 2018.
Source: Des Moines Register
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business lobbying group in the country, is endorsing state Sen. Randy Feenstra for the Republican congressional primary nomination against U.S. Rep. Steve King.
Feenstra, of Hull, is one of four Republicans challenging King in Iowa's June 2 primary. King, of Kiron, has represented northwest Iowa in Congress since 2002.
“In difficult times, we are reminded of the importance of having effective leaders that understand the genius of the American system of government. As the architect of Iowa's largest income tax cut, Randy Feenstra has shown his willingness to tackle hard issues to help his fellow Iowans,” U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue said in a statement to the Des Moines Register. “As we take on this pandemic, we need strong advocates in Congress, like Randy, who will be a champion for all Americans, and especially those in Iowa’s agribusiness community. The U.S. Chamber is proud to lend its endorsement to Randy Feenstra and looks forward to partnering with him in the future.”
King has scored highly on the Chamber's annual legislative scorecards in the past, and in 2019 he was presented with the group's "Spirit of Enterprise" award. But King, who has a history of making controversial statements, was stripped of his committee assignments last year. Feenstra has argued King is not effectively representing his constituents.
The endorsement is the first time the Chamber has endorsed a challenger to a sitting incumbent since 2016, when it endorsed now-U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, of Kansas, who unseated U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp — another Republican who was stripped of a seat on the Agriculture Committee.
Polls are already said to be close.