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SPENCER, Iowa — Leann Jacobsen, a Spencer business owner and city councilwoman, officially announced Thursday she will challenge Rep. Steve King for Iowa's 4th congressional seat in 2018.

In a release, Jacobsen, a Democrat, said now is the time to come together and change the momentum in the district, which covers 39 counties in Northwest and North Central Iowa. She’s calling her race against King a “historic fight to take back Northwest Iowa for the people.”

“In many rural Iowa communities, the qualities that have made living there so attractive — great schools, good jobs, bright futures — are beginning to slip away,” she said. “Our once-bustling main streets are quieter today, and our young people are moving on, finding better opportunities in larger cities.

“But, I believe passionately that we can turn things around and that is why I am running for Iowa’s 4th District House seat. When we come together, and put people — and common sense — over politics, we will make great things happen throughout this region.”

With Jacobsen in the race, there are now two confirmed Democratic candidates looking to challenge King, a seven-term Republican incumbent from Kiron. In July, Sioux City native J.D. Scholten announced his candidacy.

First elected in 2002, King most recently defeated Kim Weaver of Sheldon in 2016. Weaver was set to challenge King again, but she dropped out of the race earlier this year.

Jacobsen, who represents Spencer's 4th Ward is the only female member of the Spencer council. She won a special election to replace Randy Swanson who ended his term early after winning a seat on the Clay County Board of Supervisors.

In the past, Jacobsen has served on the Governor’s STEM committee and she spent a decade as the president of the Technology Association of Iowa, a small business incubator. Additionally, she co-owns three Spencer businesses and holds a business degree from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.


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