Scholten stumps in Estherville
J.D. Scholten said, “We’re the only ones who have outraised [incumbent Steve] King.” Scholten has raised more campaign funds than Rep. King. In the first quarter of 2018, Scholten raised $211,122 to King’s $124,217, according to their reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Scholten’s campaign reports he drew 4,400 contributions from 3,400 individual donors.
Scholten has been driving an RV named Sioux City Sue around the 39 counties of the district. Sue is emblazoned with Scholten’s name and his tagline, “Standing Tall for Iowa.”
Scholten said he looked up to the Democratic representatives of the past, emulating their strategies when seeking a chance to be the “Kingslayer,” defeating King for a seat in Congress.
“I look up to Tom Harkin and Berkley Bedell. We aren’t going to get this done through TV ads and billboards. We are going to get this done by getting out there to see people throughout the district. That’s what they did and that’s what I’m doing,” Scholten said.
Speaking to a group of about a dozen at an extended table at Woody’s Pizza, Scholten said he tries to watch what he eats on the campaign trail.
“Coffee meet and greets here always involve coffee and dessert. I tend to eat too many desserts,” Scholten said. At Woody’s he ordered a spaghetti dinner.
Scholten said he had some unusual ideas for this summer. “One thing I want to do this summer is to do two-miles together, and I’m trying to get to a high school track in each of the 39 counties to run two miles with anyone who wants to come out.”
With his background as a standout high school baseball player, a first-team academic all-conference player for Morningside College, and leading University of Nebraska’s team in ERA, then playing professionally for the Saskatoon (Canada) Legends, the Sioux City Explorers and in Europe, J.D. also wants to get on the baseball fields of the fourth district.
“I’d like to get into a game in all 39 counties for 39 home runs,” Scholten said. “I have a friend who recently retired from baseball and has a whole bunch of baseball bats. I’d like to dedicate a bat to each county. A lot of different things from us might be a little head-scratching, but I think it’s important to not just do the same old, same old.”
For this leg of his campaign trail, a journalist covering agricultural policy for Mother Jones magazine was riding along in Sioux City Sue.
Scholten said he wanted to scrap the cap on social security. Currently, income earned over $125,000 is not taxed for social security.
“The people earning a high income can pay a proportional share of that income to keep social security sustainable,” Scholten said.
Scholten said he wanted to disconnect health insurance and retirement from employment.
“The traditional way of working out health insurance or retirement is connected to your job. As we see where jobs are going, you don’t work a half-century at one job like they used to,” Scholten said.
Scholten explained, “You might work somewhere for five years then switch, or you might work remotely for more than one employer. Having that insurance and retirement tied to your job doesn’t make sense anymore. That’s why I want to have health insurance that you have the capability to bounce around and still have insurance.”
Scholten said he believes this model will spark entrepreneurship and stimulate small businesses.
“I have two friends who want to be entrepreneurs and start a company. They’re willing to take that risk financially, but they haven’t done it yet because they have kids and can’t afford the health insurance,” Scholten said.
On small business, Scholten said, “I think when we talk about small business, that involves progressive ideas. When you look at what Republicans are doing, they’re all about the corporations and not about small business.”
Scholten faces Spencer City Council member LeAnn Jacobsen, and Dr. John Paschen from Ames in the June 5 primary.
A debate among the Democratic candidates happens tonight at 7 p.m. at the campus center of Dordt College in Sioux Center.
King faces Dr. Cyndi Hanson, a college administrator from Sioux City, in the Republican primary.