Iowa Rep. Steve King, an unrepentant racist who spent years attacking immigrants and people of color, lost his primary on Tuesday after the Republican Party abandoned him, The New York Times reports.
King lost to Randy Feenstra, a state lawmaker who had the backing of the state and national Republican Party “who found Mr. King and embarrassment” and a “threat to a safe Republican seat.”
Feenstra is expected to defeat Democrat J.D. Scholten in the deep-red district after Scholten nearly unseated King two years ago.
King had been a prominent Republican during his nine terms in Congress, serving as the national co-chair to Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign and was the co-chair of Gov. Kim Reynold’s campaign just two years ago.
“For two decades Steve King has been something of the sun in the political universe around here,” Douglas Burns, an owner of newspapers in Mr. King’s district, told the Times. “I’ll still have to see the eclipse tomorrow to believe these results.”
King was booted from committees:
The defeat came after the Republican Party stripped him of his committee assignments last year after he appeared to defend white supremacists.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he asked in a New York Times interview last year.
The comment led Mitch McConnell to urge King to “find another line of work.”
King insists he’s not racist:
In a video posted to Facebook, King insisted that he is not racist and argued that his opponents had seized on “a single statement that I have made.”
"I would also point out that of all of the four opponents that I've had in this race, not one of them has raised an issue with a single vote I've put up or a single statement that I have made, and that's pretty interesting when you think of nearly 18 years in the United States Congress," King said. "This comes from an effort to push out the strongest voice for full spectrum constitutional Christian conservatism that existed in the United States Congress."