After controversial comments last week by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, one of the two Democrats who is exploring a 2018 congressional run has seen donations of nearly $140,000 flow in.

Democrat Kim Weaver, of Sheldon, who lost to King in the 2016 Iowa 4th congressional district contest, raised $159,626 over that entire two-year cycle.

Weaver said Monday that people were so outraged by King's March 12 comments that she has received $137,183 over the eight following days. She said $100,000 of that amount came in the first four days after King in a tweet praised a Dutch presidential candidate, writing that Geert Wilders "understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

Chief elected Iowa Republicans criticized King's tweet, and the congressman subsequently refused to disavow the assertion.

Weaver, who was soundly defeated by King five months ago to win his eighth two-year term, told the Journal she had received 5,443 contributions from people inside and out of Iowa.

"There has been an outpouring of support, both financially, but as well as people signing up to volunteer on the campaign. While there were considerable donations from outside of the state, we also raised money from within the district and from individuals from across Iowa," Weaver said.

She isn't the only possible Democratic 4th District candidate. Other news reports have cited that Dirk Deam is also exploring a campaign. An Iowa State University political science professor, Deam on Monday told the Journal he has "had an exploratory effort underway for many weeks."

Deam said he is focused on gathering volunteers and may be getting some former ISU students for his team.

"We have also been developing relationships with people in each of the 39 counties of the district," Deam said.

Deam said he aims to "get past the corrosive partisan ideology that has characterized our politics in recent years and focus more directly on the people and communities of the 4th dDstrict to ensure they are effectively represented."

Deam added that he's hewing to the adage that "all politics are local," so he must land grassroots supporters.

"We’ll be out talking to people in the coming months, asking questions, getting a sense of people’s opinions and concerns, and trying to find common ground on matters that affect us all. If the people of the district are receptive to that approach and support it, we’ll go ahead with the campaign," Deam said.

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County and education reporter

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