Kim Weaver cites personal safety concerns as she drops bid against Steve King

A sign outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2017 — photo by Eleanore Taft

Kim Weaver (D) announced over the weekend that she would be dropping her candidacy for the U.S. House race in Iowa’s fourth congressional district, a race which pitted her against incumbent Steve King (R).

In a statement, Weaver said that personal circumstances, as well as the current political climate contributed to her decision.

“One consideration has been raised again by recent events at my home,” she said in a statement posted to her campaign Facebook page. “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.”

King dismissed Weaver’s concerns in a tweet Sunday.

King is a staunch conservative known for his vocal support of anti-Islam and white nationalist candidates abroad, and statements such as his 2013 quote about children brought into the U.S. illegally, in which he stated that while some were good kids, others were drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.” King has also been accused to echoing white nationalist rhetoric, drawing praise from figures such as former KKK leader David Duke and white supremacist Richard Spencer for his past statements about “cultural suicide” and “demographic transformation.” In March, he wrote in a Tweet, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” drawing backlash from within his own party. King later clarified to Breitbart Radio he was referring to “Western civilization,” not necessarily skin color, when speaking about demographics, adding that Western civilization is “superior.”

In her weekend statement, Weaver also listed her personal health as an issue affecting her decision to drop out, saying that if she were to keep campaigning, she would need to quit her job and campaign full time, losing her health insurance.

“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,” she said.

In quitting the campaign, she said she would be moving back to Des Moines, where she grew up, to help care for her mother.

Funds raised by the campaign will be distributed within the district in an effort to continue to oppose King, she said.

“Although I’m stepping down as a candidate, I still passionately support the defeat of Steve King. I will remain a part of the effort for a future candidate in this district, as well as help to elect a Democratic governor and other Democrats across Iowa,” she said.

“We’ve started a significant movement in this district, and it’s important to see that progress continue. I’ve said from the beginning that this isn’t about me — it’s about unseating Steve King and gaining real representation for the 4th District of Iowa.”

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