Controversial Iowa Rep. Steve King was defeated in the GOP primary race Tuesday by Republican challenger Randy Feenstra.
Feenstra, a state senator, defeated King by a margin of 45.7 percent to 36 percent, according to The New York Times.
King, who has represented Iowa’s 4th Congressional District since 2003, will be replaced in the House of Representatives by either Feenstra or Democratic nominee J.D. Scholten next January after nine terms.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Feenstra on Wednesday.
“Congratulations to Randy Feenstra on your big win in the Iowa Republican Primary. You will be a great Congressman!” the president wrote.
Congratulations to Randy Feenstra on your big win in the Iowa Republican Primary. You will be a great Congressman!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2020
Feenstra wrote on Twitter that he also received a phone call from Trump.
— Randy Feenstra (@RandyFeenstra) June 3, 2020
King’s defeat is being celebrated by Democrats and many Republicans after the congressman made controversial remarks last January about white supremacy during an interview with The New York Times.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
King was widely rebuked for the comments by politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Feenstra, who had already announced he would challenge King in 2020, responded to King’s comments at the time, tweeting: “Sadly, today, the voters and conservative values of our district have lost their seat at the table because of Congressman King’s caustic behavior.”
Sadly, today, the voters and conservative values of our district have lost their seat at the table because of Congressman King’s caustic behavior. (2/3)
— Randy Feenstra (@RandyFeenstra) January 15, 2019
The comment from Feenstra came after King was condemned by Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who announced King was being stripped of his Committee assignments, according to The Hill.
King defended himself, saying he had been misquoted and was actually defending Western civilization, not voicing support for any racist ideology.
But he quickly became a pariah in the Republican Party, with the GOP establishment largely supporting Feenstra’s primary challenge, Politico reported.
GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel congratulated Feenstra on Twitter and criticized King.
“Steve King’s white supremacist rhetoric is totally inconsistent with the Republican Party, and I’m glad Iowa Republicans rejected him at the ballot box,” she tweeted Wednesday.
Steve King’s white supremacist rhetoric is totally inconsistent with the Republican Party, and I’m glad Iowa Republicans rejected him at the ballot box.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 3, 2020
“I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support over the past 17 months that made tonight possible and I thank Congressman King for his decades of public service,” Feenstra said in a statement after his primary victory, according to CNN.
“As we turn to the General Election, I will remain focused on my plans to deliver results for the families, farmers and communities of Iowa. But first, we must make sure this seat doesn’t land in the hands of Nancy Pelosi and her liberal allies in Congress. Tomorrow, we get back to work,” he added.
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