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2020 General Election
J.D. Scholten https://www.scholten4iowa.com/ is a phenomenon. He is nothing like a conventional candidate for Congress. Candidates for Congress are ambitious. They demonstrated their success – as attorneys, in business, in academia. J.D. Scholten is none of these things. He is a member of his community. An active member. A good guy.
Sioux City (population just over 80,000) is the largest city in IA 04. He grew up in Sioux City. Played baseball there. At East High School. At Morningside College in Sioux City. A Methodist college whose mission for its 1300 students is to “cultivate life long learning, ethical leadership and civic responsibility.”
Even though J.D. Scholten transferred to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Morningside College succeeded in its mission with Roman Catholic J.D. Scholten. He is a learner, civically responsible, and an ethical leader. Mornigside also prepared him for serious college baseball. At Nebraska, he led the team’s pitchers in Earned Run Average and played in the College World Series. He played professionally for teams in Canada, Europe, and the United States, including his final four seasons with the Sioux City Explorers.
When his baseball career was winding down, J. D. Scholten trained as a paralegal. He makes a living as a paralegal while making a life demonstrating “ethical leadership and civic responsibility.” His campaign website touts a couple of instances where he combined his work and his civic spirit. He helped a Cameroonian who had been tortured at home to get asylum in the United States. He helped a small Minnesota company protect its intellectual property rights against a large corporation he and they saw as predators.
J.D. Scholten ran for Congress in 2018. Against the Republican incumbent, Steve King. King has abhorrent white nationalist, white supremacist views. It is not that no one noticed Steve King’s views before. He got national attention with his anti-immigrant statements. He claimed Mexican immigrants had calves the size of cantaloupes from carrying marijuana across the desert. He gained greater notoriety, enough notoriety to finally make him vulnerable in the 2018 campaign, through openly anti-Semitic comments, statements made as he connected with European anti-Semitic groups.
King defeated J.D. Scholten by three points. When Congress convened, Republicans latched onto King’s statement in a New York Times interview: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” …“Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” With that statement in hand, the Republicans stripped King of membership in any committees.
The Republicans in Congress made King more vulnerable. He has three primary opponents. But three primary opponents against an incumbent can make the incumbent the nominee. King doesn’t look like a favorite. A photograph of a town meeting King held was attended by a single constituent made national news.
Should King be nominated, J.D. Scholten might be the favorite in this Republican congressional district. The last Democratic representative of the district ended his tenure in January, 1995. Will King be nominated? He makes the most of being a white man in a 95% white district. He has been congressman from IA 04 since 2012.
If King loses his primary, J.D. Scholten still has a reasonable chance to be elected. Democrats and, in some respects the entire community, have joined together to support this man who
- Did not make the Major Leagues,
- Did not become a lawyer,
- Is a minority (Catholics are fewer than 20%) in the community,
- Lost the 2018 race for Congress.
J.D. Scholten is more of a figure than he was in 2018. David Dayen describes him as a prairie populist. He reports that the politicians J.D. Scholten admires — former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, former Congressman Bekrley Bedell — were prairie populists. He supports Medicare for All and cautions constituents it will take a few years to get there. He denounces the Trump tax law that was aimed at helping the one percent. Trump has also given him tariffs as an issue. Iowans don’t like the impact of the tariffs at all. J.D. Scholten does not have to talk about Steve King’s white nationalism. He travels around the district telling people he is running a campaign exactly opposite of the way the DCCC would like him to run it. He runs against the Democrats, too.
Help J.D. Scholten https://www.scholten4iowa.com/. He can be elected whether or not Steve King is his opponent. He earned wide spread community support, even among those reluctant to vote for a Democrat. Building a strong campaign in Iowa 04 helps build a strong campaign for the US Senate in a state where the Senate seat could be flipped. Building a strong campaign in Iowa creates a probability of winning Iowa for the Democratic presidential nominee. Iowa could swing blue. Check J.D. Scholten’s website. Make a donation. Sign up to volunteer. Make hima winner.
Expand the House majority. Win the Senate. Succeed in the Midwest.
MiDWEST Notes so far:
IA 03 Cynthia Axne for reelection, 13thclosest D win in 2018
IA 04 J.D. Scholten to defeat Incumbent Steve King
IL 14 Lauren Underwood for reelection, 18th closest D win in 2018
Senate Gary Peters for reelection
MI 08 Elissa Slotkin for reelection, 17thclosest D win in 2018
Senate Tina Smith for reelection