Kim Weaver, a Democratic candidate who was running in Iowa’s 4th congressional district to unseat notorious Republican Steve King in 2018 mid-term election, announced her withdraw from the race, citing safety concerns.
The former candidate had unsuccessfully run against King in 2016 as well, but this time around, the number of death threats she allegedly received since announcing her bid forced her to change her mind.
“Over the last several weeks, I have been evaluating personal circumstances along with the political climate regarding this campaign. After much deliberation, I have determined that the best decision for me is to withdraw my candidacy for the U.S. House race in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District,” Weaver explained in a Facebook post. “Beginning during my 2016 campaign, I have received very alarming acts of intimidation, including death threats. While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern.”
Her account is quite distressing — after all, it is 2017 and a woman had to step down from participating in the United States politics because a group of people reportedly harassed and intimidated her.
“My personal health is an issue,” her post continued. “In order to sufficiently devote myself to the campaign, I would have to quit my job and shift to campaigning full-time. With recent legislation on health insurance, I must admit that the possibility of seeking a new job after the election exposes too much of a risk for me in not being able to secure health insurance.”
Given that President Donald Trump’s disastrous health care plan categorizes most of women’s issues as “pre-existing conditions,” thus forcing the female population to pay higher premiums even for domestic abuse, rape, C-sections and pregnancies, it isn’t hard to fathom why Weaver would be worried about losing her coverage.
Weaver also said she was motivated by the need to take care for her sick mother, who lives outside the district.
Meanwhile, Rep. Steve King responded to his rival’s decision with another allegation.
I wanted #KimWeaver IN the race-not out. Democrats drove her out of the race-not R's. Death threats likely didn't happen but a fabrication.— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 4, 2017
King, who has been in the House for 14 years and used to display a Confederate flag on his desk, is notorious for his anti-immigrant stance and although it is not clear who allegedly sent those threats to Weaver, it is important to note King seems to have amassed a white supremacist fan base.
Earlier this year, right-wing bloggers hailed him as a “hero” and referred to him as “King Steve” after he endorsed Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders with a racist tweet.
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
At the time, his comments also drew praise from white nationalist alt-right leader Richard Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.
The 15 Words:— Richard 🐸 Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) March 12, 2017
[C]ulture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.
Steve King -> 2024 (finish the job)? 🐸 🇺🇸🐸🇺🇸🐸 https://t.co/7nZsetoYvY— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 12, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters