Steve King Suggests Kim Weaver Is Lying About Death Threats

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

On Sunday afternoon, responding to the news last evening that Democrat Kim Weaver decided to drop out of the 4th Congressional District race against him in 2018, Congressman Steve King tweeted that he wanted her to stay in the race, her decision to drop out of the race was the fault of Democrats, and her main reason for doing so — death threats and other acts of intimidation she said she has endured since first running against King in 2016 — “likely didn’t happen” but were “a fabrication.”

Weaver was the only Democrat in the 2018 race against King, gaining momentum in March after the congressman’s widely condemned racist tweet about “somebody else’s babies” that was enthusiastically retweeted by former Klansman David Duke with a suggestion that fellow white nationalists move to the 4th District, which includes much of deep-red western Iowa as well as Ames, where “sanity reigns supreme.” In a message posted to Facebook announcing her decision to drop out, Weaver said that “the funds we raised will be distributed within the district to continue to oppose Steve King.”

Skeptics of Weaver’s announcement speculated that she may have been looking for an easy out to avoid another loss to King, particularly after news broke in April about her past as an internet psychic. However, Weaver also cited her mother’s health as a reason for her decision and plans to move out of the 4th District to Des Moines in order to be closer to her.

Earlier this year, Dirk Deam, a popular Iowa State University political science professor, considered entering the Democratic primary but ultimately chose not to in late April. After Weaver’s announcement Saturday, the Informer asked him if it might lead him to reconsider his decision to stay out of the race. “My reasons for suspending my campaign had to do with an unexpected and urgent medical problem in my family that I am now fairly involved dealing with,” Deam replied. “For that reason, I do not foresee re-entering the race.” (Update: Ryan Meyers, a Sioux City guitar shop owner, also decided against running in April, after filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission earlier in the year.)

Another possible contender, former Sioux City baseball standout J.D. Scholten, who has worked as a paralegal first in the Minneapolis-St. Paul and then Seattle area for the past decade, told the Informer he plans to move back to Sioux City soon and is still exploring a bid but that his priority is his family. “Right now my focus is on helping my parents in Sioux City as they start their retirement and helping my mother with the family farm,” he said.

Gavin Aronsen
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.