The Journal ran a Saturday profile of U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, the Democrat from Iowa City who grew up 250 miles west in Sioux City. In an interview for the article, Loebsack said he enjoys representing an eastern Iowa district. Even though many Democrats would love to see western Iowa Congressman Steve King defeated, Loebsack has no plans to return to his hometown to take on King in some future year.
Making that move would take would have presented a considerable challenge, as Loebsack would have been transitioning from the Iowa congressional district that is the most heavily Democratic to the district most populated by Republicans.
In discussing his rise from a hardscrabble Sioux City upbringing to college professor and then congressman, Loebsack was asked if he would ever move back to Sioux City to try to win in the 4th congressional district, to end a three-decades drought for Democrats in Northwest Iowa.
"No," Loebsack immediately said.
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He said the allure of defeating King also wouldn't draw him back to Siouxland.
The congressman gave another quick answer: "No."
Loebsack moved 21 miles from Mount Vernon to Iowa City in 2011 after congressional redistricting, in order to represent the lion's share of counties he had represented during his first three terms.
There are 160,325 Democrats with active voter registration and 136,237 Republicans in the 2nd District that Loebsack represents. The 4th District has 176,576 Republicans and 118,958 Democrats.
Former first lady Christie Vilsack in 2011 moved into the 4th District in Ames in order to run against King, an outspoken conservative who first won a congressional seat in 2002. Vilsack became the sixth Democrat to lose to King, then Jim Mowrer joined the long list in 2014, as King again triumphed.