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Firebrand congressman Steve King loses 10th-term reelection bid to rival Republican in Iowa primary vote

US Congressman Steve King, who once questioned why white supremacy was offensive, has lost his bid for reelection in Iowa, which would have been his 10th term of sitting.

King was a divisive official who called for a Mexico wall to be buillt in 2006 and endorsed a Toronto mayoral candidate with neo-Nazi ties.

The firebrand congressman, who was called out by his colleagues last year for using hateful rhetoric, lost his bid as a Republican rival defeated him for their party's nomination in an Iowa primary election.

Tuesday's vote came at a particularly charged moment, as major cities have seen widespread protests over the killing by Minneapolis police of George Floyd last week.

The House last year overwhelmingly voted to repudiate King's comments questioning why "white supremacy" is offensive, with King himself joining in that vote. The House stripped him of his committee assignments as a result.

A month later, he wondered aloud whether the human race would exist without rape and incest, prompting renewed calls for him to step down.

Randy Feenstra, a state senator who had the backing of several major Republican organizations, was projected by several news organizations as the winner in Iowa's 4th congressional district.

His victory increases the odds that Republicans will hold onto the seat in November.

King urged construction of a border wall in 2006, nearly a decade before Trump ran for president calling for the same.

In April this year, King told the Westside Conservative Club that humanity might not exist if were not for rape and incest.

"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" he said at the event in Urbandale, Iowa.

"Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages taken place and whatever happened to culture after society? I know I can't certify that I'm not a part of a product of that."

The Kiron Republican was defending his position of not allowing exceptions for rape and incest in the anti-abortion legislation he tried to pass in Congress.

"I’ve got 174 people who say they don’t want exceptions for rape and incest because they understand it is not the baby’s fault, to abort the baby, because of the sin of the father, and maybe sometimes the sin of the mother too," he said at the time.

"And so I refused to do that."

The loss of his committee posts gave a new opening to King's opponents to question his effectiveness.

Feenstra focused his attacks on King by arguing that he was no longer an effective ally for Trump in Washington.
King's political baggage had endangered the seat for Republicans; in 2018, amid a Democratic wave, J.D. Scholten came within 3 percentage points of beating King.
Scholten ran again, unopposed, in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, but his chances are considerably longer against Feenstra.

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