Steve King's Democratic opponent drops out, says she received death threats

Steve King says death threats allegedly sent to his Democratic opponent are "a fabrication"

By Matthew Sheffield

Published June 5, 2017 1:26PM (EDT)

Steve King (AP/Charlie Neibergall)
Steve King (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

Kim Weaver, the candidate Iowa Democrats had nominated to challenge Rep. Steve King in the state’s 4th congressional district, formally withdrew from the race over the weekend citing a number of factors, including threats against her life.

“Beginning during my 2016 campaign, I have received very alarming acts of intimidation, including death threats,” Weaver wrote in a Saturday Facebook post. “While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern.”

The controversial congressman reacted quickly to Weaver’s post, claiming that he had wanted her in the race, presumably because he thought she was beatable.

“I wanted #KimWeaver IN the race-not out. Democrats drove her out of the race-not R's,” King tweeted on Sunday. “Death threats likely didn't happen but a fabrication.”

Weaver has not provided any details on what she says happened to her or who might have done it. Nonetheless, that King supporters might engage in unsavory behavior isn’t much of a stretch considering that he has made numerous racist statements and has openly affiliated himself with members of the alt-right.

In March, King attracted controversy for claiming that “culture and demographics” are “destiny” for societies. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” he wrote in a Twitter post which he has never deleted.

In an interview with an Iowa radio station about his controversial Tweet, King predicted that a widespread race war would break out in the United States.

“I am afraid the Hispanics and blacks will be fighting each other before that happens,” King said, referring to the prospect of European-Americans becoming a racial minority in the country.

King has been widely praised by the alt-right for remarks of this nature, including ones in which he said most undocumented immigrants were engaged drug smuggling.

“Steve King is basically an open white nationalist at this point,” the neo-nazi website Daily Stormer pronounced after his destiny remark.

“OUR civilization and SOMEBODY ELSE’S babies. Not really any nuance there,” the site’s editor wrote. “Steve King should be Speaker of the House. Period. There is as plain as the nose on your face. He is /ourguy/.”

While King is not known to have associated himself with neo-nazis, he appeared on a panel discussion with Peter Brimelow, a white nationalist who denies being such, despite the fact that he prints the work of people who do describe themselves in that manner.

“I've read all your books!” King eagerly told Brimelow during the 2012 conversation.

Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via or follow him on Twitter.

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Gop Kim Weaver Republicans Steve King