U.S. Rep. Steve King
U.S. Rep. Steve King

September 14, 2018


U.S. Rep. Steve King, a veteran Iowa Republican who has served for two decades with Democrat Michael Capuano, says the Massachusetts congressman lost a primary earlier this month to an African-American Boston City Councilwoman because he’s “an old white guy.”

Ayanna Pressley, 44, ousted Capuano, 66, with a 17-point Democratic primary victory in the liberal East Coast district, one with no Republican on the ballot for the seat, even though Capuano compiled a decidedly progressive record in Congress over 10 terms.

“But if you’re a party that has more or less demonized old, white men the way they have, sooner or later that party that demonizes them is going to vote them out,” King said in an interview with this newspaper in Audubon. “And I think that’s what they did. They thought he was an old white guy — and actually, while he may be that, but he’s a solid progressive. I think that there is certainly more race being played in the politics on the left than there is on the right.”

King said he has traveled with Capuano and likes him personally.

“In those conversations that I’ve had when you’re sitting there breaking bread together, and sitting there into the night and talking things over, he talks often about how he serves constituents, and how far he goes in order to touch bases,” King said.

What’s more, King said, Capuano appears to have “checked all the boxes” for progressive causes.

“I don’t have any doubt he does that,” King said.

In fact, civil-rights icon Congressman John Lewis of Georgia backed Capuano, who supported sanctuary cities, opposed the war in Iraq and protested President Trump’s election by not attending the inauguration. He’s also active on health-care and mass-transit issues, taking traditionally liberal positions on both.