Iowa's potential showdown: Vilsack vs. King?
April 20th, 2011
04:24 PM ET
12 years ago

Iowa's potential showdown: Vilsack vs. King?

Washington (CNN) – In what could become one of the most heated battles of the next Congressional election, Christie Vilsack is exploring a run against conservative Rep. Steve King of Iowa.

The Democratic wife of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Iowa's popular former governor, announced Wednesday that she will form an exploratory committee for a congressional seat in Iowa's newly drawn fourth district.

Vilsack would be vying for the seat of incumbent Steve King, former U.S. Senator and Tea Party favorite, well-known for his conservative positions.

According to the Des Moines Register, voter registration records pin the fourth district as the most Republican leaning of Iowa's four newly drawn districts.

Vilsack recently purchased a home in Ames which is inside the district in northwestern Iowa.

"Serving in Iowa is both a privilege and a responsibility. The decision to run for Congress deserves serious consideration," Vilsack said in a statement. "Next month, I will move to Ames and continue to explore the possibility of representing Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives."

Vilsack's newly unveiled website tells potential supporters that their "ideas about what we can do together are important to me as I consider running in Iowa's 4th Congressional District."

"It's important to listen to Iowa families about the issues they want addressed in Congress," Vilsack said. "Too often in campaigns, it's the other way around. More than anything, this should be a discussion about Iowa values-the value of work, the value of opportunity and the value of community."

Iowa's former first lady, who has never run for political office, previously served as executive director of the Iowa Initiative, an advocacy group aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies.

2010 census figures showing slow population growth caused Iowa to lose a congressional district resulting in redistricting throughout the state.

The state's revised configuration places Rep. Steve King in the same district as fellow Republican Rep. Tom Latham. In response, Latham announced his move to the third district, currently under the representation of Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell of Des Moines.

The new configuration also puts Democratic Reps. Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley of Waterloo in the same first district of Mount Vernon, igniting Loebsack's announced move to Johnson County in the second district, where no incumbent currently lives.

If Vilsack claims a victory, she would be Iowa's first woman to serve in Congress.

Filed under: Congress • Iowa
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    I hope you win Ms. Vilsack. This country will be much better off with less republicans.

    April 20, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Uh oh. The TEA Party is being targeted by the REAL Party. (Real Electorates Are Liberals)

    April 20, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Name Creole

    let the take down began!!!! Haaaaaaa

    April 20, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    King is a right wing wackjob and is long overdue to get booted out. He's the one that claimed if Obama won in 2008 the "Muslims would be dancing in the streets". If we get this King out then maybe the other nutjob King in New York would be next.

    April 20, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Save your time and money honey! 2012 is going to be DEVASTATING to the Democrat party, complements of obama, Reid and Pelosi. You have more chance of winning the Powerball lottery.

    April 20, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. saftgek

    Re: Vilsack/King: one of the most intelligent actions voters of Iowa could take – in this day and age – is to take ANY action to get rid of one of the most self-serving, vile, irrational, extremist representatives our sitting Congress has.

    April 20, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Gale

    Yes, and then us tax payers could pay salaries to both of them, plus retirement, plus insurance. Wow, lucky us.

    April 20, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Jake

    i hope she does it! send the conservatives back to their private schools and churches!

    April 20, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. gt

    just another political american family who thinks thats all they can do is live off the public and think they know every thing.... ,

    April 20, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. paul

    King is an extemist and not good for Iowa. His right wing views will and have set the country back in time. I hope the people of Iowa realize they can elect someone with much more common sense instead of someone that tries to force his "ideology" on the rest of us. Iowa and the country deserves better.

    April 20, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Cheryl110

    Christie Vilsack is a fantastic lady. She was a great first lady, and has so much more class and brains than King. He is a lot like Glenn Beck–using hateful remarks to divide and stir up Christian, Fox-viewers to discriminate against Muslims, gays, African-Americans, or people who have made use of a Planned Parenthood Clinic. It's time to get rid of people like him who divide instead of unite Iowans. Christie is a great choice, and I hope and pray she wins.

    April 20, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Oregon Calling

    One of the reasons (to me) that there seems to be political families is because most of us are too busy WORKING to try and run for office. There are bills to be paid, food to buy.................

    Peace 🙂

    April 20, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |