Last fall, I had a conversation with Sioux City Councilman Alex Watters when he told me about an old adage in politics - “You win in November by what you do in May.” On June 5, Democratic primary voters will choose between three candidates to take on Steve King. That adage is what Democrats in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District should keep in their mind when deciding who has the best chance to beat Rep. King.
What sets me apart in this race is what my campaign and I have been able to accomplish so far. I’m the only candidate to have been endorsed by a current member of Congress. I’ve been endorsed by all seven of the State Central Committee members in the district who will be endorsing and by the most district county chairs. I’m also the only candidate who has received labor endorsements, earning the support of six local unions. My campaign is the only one to have opened an office — three, actually — one in Ames, one here in Sioux City, and “Sioux City Sue,” a 29-foot, custom-wrapped, used Winnebago RV. My campaign has more staff than the others combined and is building the field program it takes to win the general election.
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Not only have I raised more money than my opponents combined (by about $200,000), I’ve outraised Steve King for the entire election cycle. I’m especially proud of our fundraising, as we’ve done it the right way: from over 6,000 individual donors from all 39 counties in this district, all 50 states and raising over $500,000, zero dollars from corporate PACs. Because of our success in fundraising, my campaign has single-handedly moved the dial in this race from a “non-risk” to a level four risk, according to the Cook Political Report.
In Congress, I’ll fight for Medicare for all, lowering prescription drug costs and protecting Social Security and Medicaid. I’ll strive for tax reform that benefits working families. I’ll push to end Citizens United and get big money out of politics. I’ll work to ensure our family farms are economically and environmentally thriving for the next generation.
I have an old-school mentality and modeled my campaign after two of my political heroes, Rep. Berkley Bedell and Sen. Tom Harkin. What I learned from them is that if you get out to the people, show that you can be trusted, and prove that you will fight for them, you can earn their vote. There’s not a candidate who has driven more miles, shaken more hands or listened to more constituents than me. As a fifth-generation Iowan and the only candidate to have been born and raised in this district, I have the best understanding of all the unique communities that make up this district.
A Democrat has never beaten Rep. King in Woodbury County. The key to winning this race is to win Woodbury County. Having grown up here and having spent most of my life here, I am the best candidate to break through that barrier. People across Sioux City are coming together to support this campaign. I’ve been endorsed by the chair and vice chair of the Woodbury County Democrats, State Reps. Chris Hall and Tim Kacena, several members of Siouxland Progressive Women, Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott, former Sioux City Mayor Jim Wharton, Sioux City Councilman Alex Watters, Sioux City Councilwoman Rhonda Capron and many more.
You won’t find a candidate who will outwork me and you won’t find a candidate who will have more fun than me. If you want a candidate who will not only compete with Rep. King, but who can beat him, I am asking for your vote on June 5. Because together, we can build a 4th District, an Iowa and an America that stands tall for all.
J.D. Scholten of Sioux City is a Democratic candidate for U.S. House from Iowa's 4th District.