King versus Vilsack in fourth district


November 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The 2012 contest in Iowa’s fourth congressional district pits a five-term Republican congressman against a former Iowa first lady.
Republican Congressman Steve King and his Democratic challenger, former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, are running in what is geographically the largest of Iowa’s four congressional districts. The new fourth district has 39 counties, with Mason City and Ames along the east side and Denison and Sioux City to the west. The fourth district is also the most heavily-Republican area in the state, with 50-thousand more registered Republicans than Democrats.

John Schmaltz, a political science professor at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, has been following this race. “You really have two vastly different candidates here,” Schmaltz says. “You have somebody who is really pretty liberal in Christie Vilsack and you have a very conservative candidate in Steve King and this has been identified even nationally by various conservative and liberal groups as one of those races that they want to win.” The intensity of the race has played out over the airwaves in a barrage of advertising and in the debates the two participated in this fall. King has not debated a Democratic opponent since his first congressional campaign, in 2002. King and Vilsack met in seven debates this year.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)