SIOUX CITY -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who drew big crowds of Democrats during the 2016 presidential race, will campaign with Iowa 4th District Democratic nominee J.D. Scholten later this month.
At a Friday fundraiser in Sioux City and in a press release, Scholten, a Democrat from Sioux City, said Sanders would make stops on Oct. 20 in Sioux City and Oct. 21 in Fort Dodge and Ames. Scholten, who is challenging Republican Rep. Steve King, announced Sanders' appearances during a dinner sponsored by the Woodbury County Democratic Party Friday night.
In Sioux City, Sanders will join Scholten at a rally at Morningside College. Along with the visits to Fort Dodge and Ames the next day, Sanders will appear in three of the four largest cities in the heavily Republican 4th district, which covers 39 counties in Northwest and Northcentral Iowa.
An Emerson College poll in early September showed King with a 10-point lead over Scholten. More recently, the Scholten campaign countered with an internal poll that showed him within 6 points of the eight-term incumbent.
For three straight three-month quarters, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission showed Scholten brought in more campaign donations than King, an eight-term incumbent from Kiron. In the the last three quarters, Scholten built a more than 2-to-1 fundraising advantage -- $719,000 to $353,000.
Scholten deputy campaign manager Todd Prieb said Friday that Scholten plans to begin running television ads, but there is no timetable on when those would start.
Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats in the U.S. Senate, who lost a hard-fought race to eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. He drew enthusiastic crowds in Sioux City and elsewhere in Iowa, where he narrowly lost to the former Secretary of State amid allegations from some supporters the vote-counting process was mismanaged.
Scholten spoke Friday night at the third annual Harry Hopkins Democratic Dinner, a fundraiser for the Woodbury County Democratic Party. Among the special guests at the event was U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.
Scholten is amid a series of town hall meetings, in the You Can’t Fake Showing Up swing through every county in the 4th District. On the campaign trail and in social media, Scholten has described making inroads with people in the largely rural district.
King's official Facebook campaign account in recent days has been used to air support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation was advanced in the Senate by a 51-49 vote Friday. The posts were also critical of political "lefties"and in support of President Donald Trump.
Charles Aldrich is the Libertarian Party nominee for the 4th District seat.