VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: J.D. Scholten Calls Rep. Steve King’s White Nationalist Comments ‘Very Frustrating,’ Says He May Run Again
In an exclusive interview with uPolitics, J.D. Scholten, who narrowly lost a 2018 election to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) by three points, said that he is considering running again in 2020 and that he viewed the pro-white nationalist comments made by his former opponent “very frustrating.”
When asked by uPolitics about the comments supporting white nationalism that King had made this January year, Scholten responded, “It’s very frustrating to have somebody who’s so-called representing us so drastically different than what our district needs are. That’s his whole thing, he’s put his ideology and his, I mean, you can call him a lot of things, I call him selfish because he puts his ideology above representing us.”
Speaking to the New York Times earlier this year, King lamented not being able to support white nationalism, saying, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Scholten’s first experience with government was his 2018 race against King in which he managed to do what no other Democrat had done and turned the race for a heavily Republican-leaning seat into a competitive election. Speaking to uPolitics, Scholten describes going to the Woman’s March in Seattle and how he was “so blown away by the raw power and energy.” He recalled how at that moment he thought, “You know what, I need to move back to Iowa and fight.” He then returned to his hometown and became a freelance paralegal. When he saw that King was running unopposed for his House seat Scholten decided that he “couldn’t sit on the sidelines.”
“I didn’t know if I could raise five bucks, but I knew I could start a grassroots effort of “get out there” to the people, and it was very humbly launched but we grew and grew and grew,” said King’s former opponent. Over the course of his campaign, Scholten was able to raise over $3 million, greatly outraising his opponent and turning the race into one of the nation’s fiercest competitions.
When asked whether he would run against King again in 2020, Scholten said, “I’m thinking about it.” He continued by stating, “It’s not easy to run, especially the way that we ran. I bought a used RV and pretty much lived in that for three months. When you’re a working-class candidate it’s not that easy to just bounce back and to run again.”