Joni Ernst Endorses Steve King in 4th District Re-Election Bid

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Freshman Sen. Joni Ernst has endorsed Steve King in his latest bid for re-election in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District. “Steve has stood strong for life and liberty, and speaking personally, I’ve appreciated his support for our military overseas and our brave servicemen and women as they return home,” Ernst, a retired member of the Iowa Army National Guard, says in the video above, released today by King’s campaign.

King’s facing a tougher-than-usual re-election campaign this year because of a primary challenge from state Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City, a former state Senate colleague of Ernst’s. Before Bertrand entered the race in March, King had rubbed the Iowa GOP establishment the wrong way by endorsing Ted Cruz, an opponent of the Renewable Fuel Standard that helps drive the state’s ethanol industry. A week and a half after Bertrand announced his challenge, King predicted the primary would get “very nasty.”

The endorsement from Ernst, who in the video also approvingly mentions King’s support for the expansion of U.S. Highway 20 in western Iowa and the congressman’s support for Iowa’s ag industry, may calm things down a bit. It comes three days after King received the endorsement of Sen. Chuck Grassley, which had already narrowed Bertrand’s route to a primary victory.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.