Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of all the Upper Midwestern U.S. Senate and U.S. House races leading up to the November 4th elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics’ official projections. The seventh profile in the series is Iowa’s 5th Congressional District race.
Iowa’s 5th Congressional District comprises thirty-two counties across the western wing of the state: Adair, Adams, Audubon, Buena Vista, Carroll, Cass, Cherokee, Clarke, Clay, Crawford, Decatur, Dickinson, Fremont, Guthrie, Harrison, Ida, Lyon, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, O’Brien, Osceola, Page, Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Taylor, Union, and Woodbury.
Western Iowa hasn’t elected a Democrat to the U.S. House since Berkley Bedell won six straight terms from 1974 through 1986. King handily won the inaugural race of the newly drawn 5th Congressional District in 2002, beating Democratic nominee Paul Shomshor by 24.3 points. King then defeated Joyce Schulte by 26.7 and 22.9 points in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
King, a former state senator, serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on Small Business, and the House Committee on the Judiciary. The three-term Congressman has been one of the most outspoken opponents of illegal immigration and proponents of strict immigration enforcement. King also has been a critic of the financial bailout legislation, voting ‘no’ on both floor votes.
Democrat Rob Hubler, a Vietnam War veteran and retired Presbyterian minister, is campaigning in favor of increased regulatory measures and vigilant oversight of the financial industry, a national health insurance program, setting a timetable to withdrawal troops from Iraq, and increasing America’s commitment to renewable energy, such as ethanol, wind, and nuclear production.
King represents the most conservative and reliably Republican district in the Hawkeye State. His return to D.C. for a 4th term would continue the streak of at least one Republican representing Iowa in the U.S. House in every year since 1856.