Win or lose, Republican Congressman Steve King is set to address supporters at an election night event in Sioux City, Iowa, on Tuesday. But the state’s largest newspaper may not be present.
That’s because King’s campaign has denied credentials to a reporter from the Des Moines Register who wished to cover the gathering.
“We’ll go to the venue, but will comply if ordered away,” Carol Hunter, the executive editor of the Register, told CNN Business.
The Register reported on the failed credential bid on Tuesday, quoting King’s son, Jeff King, a paid staff member on the campaign who denied the request.
“We are not granting credentials to the Des Moines Register or any other leftist propaganda media outlet with no concern for reporting the truth,” Jeff King wrote in the email, which was shared with CNN Business.
The King campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
For Rep. King, it represents yet another ignominious moment in what might be the toughest challenge of his career. An eight-term incumbent representing a heavily Republican district in northwestern Iowa, King is accustomed to landslide victories. But some polls have shown Democrat J.D. Scholten within striking distance. And King has drawn a torrent of unfavorable headlines in the campaign’s closing stages.
In August, he met with members of a far-right Austrian party with Nazi origins on a trip that was funded by a Holocaust memorial group. Last month, King endorsed a far-right, white supremacist mayoral candidate in Toronto. And at an event last week, King lashed out at a questioner who asked the Republican congressman about the hardline anti-immigrant views he shares with Robert Bowers, the alleged shooter in the massacre at the Pittsburgh synagogue.
King had the questioner removed from the room. But at Tuesday’s election night event in Sioux City, the Des Moines Register may not even make it inside.
“The Des Moines Register will continue doing everything in its power to cover Rep. King fairly,” Hunter said. “This decision is unfortunate because it not only shuts out the Des Moines Register reporter, but also the people of Iowa.”