A progressive Democrat is challenging the racist, authoritarian Steve King for his Iowa Congressional seat

Rep Steve King (R-IA, @SteveKingIA, 202.225.4426) is a notorious Islamaphobe, surveillance advocate, conspiracy theorist, xenophobe, and all-round asshole; he's held his seat since 2003 but now he is being primaried by his own party and challenged by a celebrity ballplayer turned Sanders Democrat, J.D. Scholten — a native Iowan who decided to move home and run against King during the first Woman's March, in January 2017.

Scholten has had an impressive fundraising run, through small-money donations, finishing 2017 with $174,344 (King had raised $87,544 — though King's total raise is $244,725 to Scholten's $214,487).

The race is still a very long long-shot, as King has massive advantages thanks to his incumbency; but he is also being challenged in the primary by a more moderate Republican, Cyndi Hanson, who has promised to campaign on "old Republican" values (that is, pre-Trump).

"We're grateful for the amount of support this campaign has received," Scholten said. "At first, our focus was to get out on the road to engage with as many people as possible. At the time, people liked us simply because I wasn't Steve King. Now we're seeing the shift to people responding to our message of inclusiveness."

Scholten's platform includes backing a $15 minimum wage, moving toward a single-payer health care system, and comprehensive immigration reform. He's landed the support of Krystal Ball, founder of the People's House Project, a group that supports progressive candidates. (The People's House Project has not officially endorsed Scholten.)

Iowa Progressive Emerges as Serious Challenger to Eight-Term Congressional Republican Steve King [Zaid Jilani/The Intercept]