With just over two weeks remaining in the general election, Congressman Steve King and his campaign team feel optimistic about turning back the challenge of former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack. Although they are not as far ahead as they would like, the King campaign believes voters will send the Kiron native back to Congress for a sixth term.
Vilsack has posed by far the most difficult reelection challenge of King’career, raising millions of dollars from out-of-state interests who hope to take out the conservative firebrand.
“She has said that she will raise $3 million. She will reach that,” King said. “And the outside money that they have, it’s at least 60% outside the state of Iowa.”
As one of the most reliably conservative members of Congress, Steve King is a huge target for liberal interests. He consistently votes conservative and he consistently voices conservative values. Unseating Congressman King would be an enormous victory for the Democrats.
“That’s why you see everybody and their brother coming in here, trying to give money to his opponent and run ads against him, because they know how valuable he is,” Iowa Caucus winner Rick Santorum said at fundraiser for King on Friday. “He is a burr in their saddle and that’s why they want to defeat him and that’s why they’re spending the money.”
Steve King was never a strong fundraiser in previous campaigns. He didn’t need to be. This year is different, and the congressman has more than risen to the challenge. King held more than $1 million cash on hand heading into the final weeks of the campaign, while Vilsack maintained only $438,000.
“Whatever she has for donors, we have at least twice as many and whatever she raised for dollars in Iowa, we raised at least twice as many,” King said.
Meanwhile, the Republican-leaning district has provided plenty of supporters anxious to help King in his bid. The campaign has placed a remarkable 750 barn signs around the 39 counties in the Fourth Congressional District. Volunteers have made thousands of phone calls on his behalf.
“This support that’s here is phenomenal and it’s just heartwarming to see it,” King said. “
Prominent Republicans from inside and outside Iowa are also lending a hand. Governor Branstad, whose permanent home is in the Fourth District, voiced-over radio ads for King. Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds was one of the featured speakers at his fundraiser in Ames on Friday. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also headlined a fundraiser for him. Rick Santorum laid out the reasons why it is crucial to support Steve King.
“There’s just nobody that has the courage that Steve King has,” Santorum said. “You talk about a man of conviction and someone who knows what he believes and knows why he believes it. That’s when you know someone has real conviction, when they can tell you why they believe what they believe.”
King is touched by the outpouring of support he has received from his fellow Iowans. He’s counting on them boost him to victory in 15 days.
“It’s personally gratifying, it’s philosophically gratifying to see so many full spectrum, constitutional conservatives step up to defend our liberty, defend our freedom, defend our constitution and our way of life,” King said. “And we know that Christie Vilsack is really a San Francisco liberal. If she is elected to Congress, her first vote will be for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House again.”
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