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King campaigns

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks at a town hall meeting Aug. 13, 2014, in Mason City. King, who is running for re-election, is opposed by Democrat Jim Mowrer in the November election.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly identified the date of Kim Weaver's first visit to Mason City. Weaver says she visited the area monthly leading up to the November election. 

Following redistricting in 2011, North Iowa's congressional lines shifted, and most of us inherited a fourth district rep to Washington rather than picked one.

After the latest embarrassment to fall out of his head, it's clear that U.S. Rep. Steve King has worn out his welcome in North Iowa. We're hopeful our neighbors to the south and west start agreeing.

King doesn't just hide his racism behind tiny flags on his desk, Lego walls on a coffee table or last-minute amendments to bills that prevent the government from honoring civil rights heroes. No, King is taking full advantage of the political climate to fast-forward his agenda of fear.

In tribute to a Dutch far-right, ultra-conservative, anti-immigrant politician, King tweeted on Sunday that Geert Wilders "understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

We're repeating what we wrote just eight months ago about the veteran politician who's determined to make juvenile and increasingly dangerous comments on a near monthly basis:

"Now, there’s no reason for surprise for King’s move. His career is littered with dehumanizing attacks on illegal immigrants and 'anchor babies,' half-baked English-only bills and a general disdain for anything relating to cultural pluralism."

So how and why does the Fourth District continue to send King to Washington?

King's closest race since we inherited him was in the 2012 general election, when King won by 8 percentage points over Democratic candidate Christie Vilsack. 

King failed to win Cerro Gordo County twice in elections, and Floyd and Winnebago counties once apiece. Otherwise, King has reigned North Iowa general elections.

The blame falls to both parties.

The Democrats' decline in Iowa has allowed King to run against far-from-serious challengers. Recall Nov. 2, 2016: King's opponent, Kim Weaver, made a public stop in Mason City, six days before the election. She spoke to 10 people at Village Court restaurant.

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Five months earlier, King was challenged -- at least on paper -- by Rick Bertrand. Running on the reverse name-recognition platform, Bertrand's unofficial campaign slogan was "I'm not Steve King."

King won by an almost 2-to-1 margin.

It's one thing for Republicans to occasionally distance themselves from the party parasite. It's another to continue to tell voters he's the best your party has to offer.

Surely there is at least one rational Republican between Mason City, Ames and Sioux City?

The GOP has a year to find him or her.

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The Globe Gazette editorial board consists of Publisher Roy Biondi, Editor David Mayberry and News Editor Ashley Miller. Reach them at news@globegazette.com.

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