IOWA — Former Iowa Democratic Congressional candidate J.D. Scholten on Tuesday announced he will not be running for office in 2022.
Instead, Scholten is partnering with RuralVote.org, a national super PAC focused on improving the Democratic brand with rural voters and battling disinformation in rural communities.
The campaign will focus on 39 rural counties around the U.S. that will help decide which party controls the U.S. Senate in 2022. Its mission is to improve Democratic margins in those counties to help Democratic candidates win Senate races and improve the party’s chances down ballot.
“Democrats need to stop ignoring rural voters,” Scholten said. “One of the reasons why we continue to lose state houses across the country is because we’re ceding rural America to Republicans. If we want to win over hearts and minds for progressive policies everywhere, we need to up our game in rural America big time.”
Scholten, a former minor league baseball player, is best known for coming close to 3 percent of defeating former Republican Congressman Steve King in 2018 in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, where registered Republican voters largely outnumber Democrats.
Scholten ran for Congress again in 2020, losing by a wide margin to Republican Randy Feenstra in the 4th District.