John Paschen, an Ames pediatrician who’s well known locally, on Monday announced that he plans to enter the increasingly crowded Democratic primary to challenge eighth-term Republican incumbent Steve King for the 4th Congressional District.
Paschen is the husband of Cindy Paschen, a longtime Ames community volunteer who unsuccessfully primaried Democratic state Sen. Herman Quirmbach in 2014 and the following year briefly ran for the at-large City Council seat eventually won by Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen.
According to the Ames Tribune, John Paschen plans to officially enter the race in early October. If he does, he’ll join three other Democrats who have already announced bids: Sioux City paralegal and former baseball player J.D. Scholten, Spencer City Council member and small businesswoman Leann Jacobsen, and Webster City bus driver and former pastor Paul Dahl.
The growing field of Democrats who plan to face off in next June’s primary has emerged following Kim Weaver’s exit from the race. Weaver, who lost to King by 22 points in 2016, planned to challenge him again in 2018 but dropped out of the race in early June, citing death threats and family issues.