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Republicans celebrate over chili in Webster City

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Jeremy Taylor, a Republican from Sioux City, right, visits with Curt Anderson, of Webster City, during the Hamilton County Republican Chili Supper Saturday night at the Webster City Middle School. Taylor is a candidate for U.S. Congress in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds lauded the state’s low unemployment rate and ability to attract new businesses during the Hamilton County Republican Chili Supper Saturday night.

“We constantly rank in the top five for providing job creators the lowest cost of doing business,” Reynolds said to a crowd of about 100 people gathered at the Webster City Middle School. “We are seeing companies expand and invest and locate in our state. It’s really, really good news.”

Reynolds said Iowa has been recognized for its education and quality of life.

“We have a diverse and growing economy,” she said. “We have one of the lowest unemployment rates.”

Reynolds added, “We have more Iowans working and their wages are going up.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson State Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, left, is all smiles as he visits with Vickie Hagenson, of Webster City, Saturday night at the Hamilton County Republicans Chili Supper at the Webster City Middle School. Feenstra is a candidate for U.S. Congress in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

She said Iowa, “still has a lot of work to do.”

Reynolds highlighted flooding and trade disruption as two challenges the state faces.

On the national level, Reynolds said she is “proud to work with this administration.”

“I have never seen access to the president, vice president … like we have now,” Reynolds said. “They are listening to what we need and pushing more control back to the local level because we know the people we represent. Whether reducing taxes or defending life, it’s amazing to see what they are doing despite the media working against them.”

Reynolds seemed to walk that comment back and complimented the media in attendance.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, listens in as Leah Maass, of Ellsworth shares an opinion during the Hamilton County Republicans Chili Supper.

“We have good media here,” she said.

Reynolds said seeing Democratic candidates travel the state has motivated her.

Referring to the Democratic presidential candidates and their proposals, Reynolds said ”We’ll host them, we want them coming through because it’s not Iowa, it’s not what we stand for. They want to tell us how to run our families, run our farming and run our business and that’s not who we are. And what it does for me, and I hope it’s doing for you, it fires me up. It makes me more determined to travel the state and to rally Iowans to say we need to elect leaders that believe in America, that stand for the values we stand for. It’s important and it’s worth the fight, right?”

The race for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, said he doesn’t think he’s vulnerable in losing his seat in Congress despite having four challengers for the Republican primary in 2020.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, right, greets Mary Clausen and Renne Holdgrafer, both of Webster City, during the Hamilton County Republicans Chili Supper Saturday night.

“I am not the one that’s vulnerable,” King said during the Hamilton County Republican Chili Supper. “We need to stand behind (U.S. Sen.) Joni Ernst. Let’s reelect Joni Ernst and send me back to the house and reelect Donald Trump. Then we can put our feet up for a couple of days.”

Defending his character, King said, “People believe me over the New York Times. I am not going to take my foot off the throttle.”

King said he remains consistent on his policies.

He said, “Renewable fuels has always been my issue in the house.”

In January, King introduced two bills that are designed to protect the volume requirements in the Renewable Fuels Standard from being undermined by the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of small refinery exemptions.

“I said fix it now,” King said.

King also said, “It’s not that hard” to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

In terms of the Affordable Care Act, King said, “We have gotten rid of most of Obamacare and hopefully we will get rid of it all.”

State Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, is one of King’s challengers.

The Dordt University business and economics professor agrees with King on the wall.

“I stand with Trump,” Feenstra said. “We must build a wall.”

Feenstra has served in the Iowa Senate for the past 11 years.

“From the heartbeat bill to the voter ID bill, from banning taxpayer funded abortion,” Feenstra said. “These are things I want to take to Congress.”

Jeremy Taylor, a Republican from Sioux City, said he is running for fear that Democratic candidate J.D. Scholten will win the 4th Congressional seat.

“This (Scholten) is someone who is running around with Bernie Sanders and who is as left on guns as Beto O’Rourke is,” Taylor, a Woodbury County supervisor, said. “We can’t lose this seat.”

The national debt and immigration are two issues Taylor is passionate about.

“We are spending a billion dollars a day just in interest,” Taylor said.

In terms of immigration, Taylor said, “I will take the fight straight to the Democrats and secure the border once and for all.”

Another challenger for congress is Steve Reeder, a Republican from Arnolds Park with 35 years of experience in real estate brokerage and development business.

“I have helped solve problems and satisfy needs,” Reeder said. “I have worked with town managers and city officials. I have served on boards and volunteered in all the churches I’ve been part of.”

Reeder said his ability to negotiate would serve him well in Washington, D.C.

“In Washington, the two-party system has created division rather than cooperation,” he said. “Being able to communicate with people who have different opinions requires negotiations.”

Reeder said he didn’t even consider running for office until 2018.

“There is a war on America’s soul underway right now,” Reeder said. “Right now between socialism and freedom. We need to send job creators and patriots to Washington who are not professional politicians, but one of us who comes from our churches and local businesses.”

He added, “Limited government encourages individual responsibility. I am here to listen to ideas and solutions to improve our communities.”

Bret Richards, a Republican from Irwin, said he’s running for congress because, “I am tired of career politicians promising they are going to fix our problems and all they do is use it for a campaign slogan or raise money for reelection.”

If elected, Richards said he has pledged to only serve five terms.

Richards is a U.S. Army veteran. He served from 1995 to 1999 as a combat engineer officer. He also holds an engineering degree from the University of Iowa.

“As a civil engineer, I looked at problems logically and solved them,” Richards said. “In the Army, I led people toward a common objective. In business, I worked with people and listened to the customer. Can you think of any place that needs those skills more than our dysfunctional government?”

Richards owned several Country Store convenience stores throughout Iowa.

“We need someone focused on solving problems,” he said. “Not the impeachment of the president. I will put you and your family first.”

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