Provocative nine-term Iowa Republican congressman Steve King lost his re-election bid in a closely-contested primary race Tuesday to state Senator Randy Feenstra.
The incumbent, whose controversial remarks about immigration and other issues had become an embarrassment for many conservatives, was greeted with celebration by several prominent Republican voices including Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and popular conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.
The Republican Party had stripped King of his committee assignments two years ago for a series of incidents that demonstrated sympathy towards white supremacist ideology, including his endorsement of Faith Goldy, a white nationalist candidate for Toronto mayor.
Last summer King bizarrely opined about the important role rape and incest had played in world history.
"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" King said last August at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. "Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can't say that I was not a part of a product of that."
Feenstra's victory has several Republicans in Iowa confident that the seat will stay in the party's hands, something that they feared was unlikely if King was on the ballot in November.
Democrat J.D. Scholten will face off against Feenstra in the general election.