Scholten’s campaign launch includes stop in Jefferson

J.D. Scholten, candidate for 4th Congressional District, in Jefferson Aug. 6

Greene County Democrats got a preview of J.D. Scholten’s campaign for the Fourth Congressional District seat Tuesday at Greene Bean Coffee. Scholten on Monday announced his candidacy, with the New York Times and the Sioux City Journal breaking the story prior to a planned launch in Sioux City.

Scholten ran against Rep. Steve King in 2018 and came closer to unseating him than any other challenger since he was first elected to Congress in 2002. King’s margin in 2018 was 3 percentage points. He received 25,000 more votes than there are registered Democrats in the district.

“Last time we hoped we could win. This time we know we can win,” Scholten told an enthusiastic group at the short-notice event.

He plans to use the same strategy he used before – to travel throughout the district and talk with as many voters as possible, including Republicans and Independents. In 2018 he visited all 39 counties in the district at least three times. This time his goal is that 70 percent of all who vote in the 2020 general election will have talked with him, seen his campaign RV, or known of a nearby Scholten campaign event.

Scholten was introduced byy Greene County Democrat central committee chair Chris Henning

He’ll continue to use his “Stand tall for all” slogan, but he’s adding “Fix, Fight, Secure” as key words. He’s pledging to fix healthcare, to fight for an economy that works for everyone, and to secure our democracy against special interest groups. He again plans not to accept any corporate PAC money.

The New York Times announcement of his candidacy demonstrates the national attention he gained as an opponent of King. In the last week of that campaign, in the wake of King being stripped of his committee assignments due to published comments interpreted as being racist, Scholten raised $1 million, with much of it coming from out-of-state donors.

Despite that, he said he’ll stay focused on the Fourth District. “Whether it’s national groups or not, we’ll do our thing and it’s Fourth District focused. If people want to jump on board, so be it. If not, we’re fine with that, too,” he said.

As of now, three Republicans are challenging King in a June primary. Most people who watch politics say Scholten will fare better against King than the apparent front-running challenger. Scholten said his plan will remain the same regardless of his opponent.

“This campaign isn’t about me. It’s really not about Steve King. It’s not about who’s running for president. It’s about us, and having someone in D.C. who is willing to represent us, to fight for us, and to serve us,” Scholten said.

Greene County was Scholten’s first stop since launching his campaign in Sioux City. He said Greene County is special to him because when his Thank You tour was announced the week after the election, Greene County organizers saw he was going from Carroll to Ames without a planned stop in Jefferson and planned an event for him. He had an extra 30 minutes or so of travel time, but spent an hour at a local restaurant talking with supporters who had become friends.

His launch includes a video narrated by Kevin Costner. Part of the video was shot in northwest Greene County. County residents may recognize centenarian Mary Geisler, members of Mike and Shari Minnehan’s family, and St Patrick Church. Minnehan cattle and pastureland are also shown. Retired minister Dale Hanaman of southwest Greene County is shown in the role of barber, too. Click here to see the video.

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