Controversial Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a onetime political mentor of Chris Christie, appears to have lost his bid for re-election to a 10th term in the Tuesday’s Iowa GOP primary.
With 88% of the vote counted, State Sen. Randy Feenstra led King by a 41%-39% margin.
When Christie was called to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee looking at deferred prosecution agreements in 2009, former Attorney General John Ashcroft put Christie in touch with King. King helped prepare Christie for the hearings.
Christie helped raise money for King in 2012 and 2014.
“I will be a supporter of Steve King for as long as he continues to be in public life,” Christie told the Star-Ledger. “I consider him a friend.”
For a while in 2013, Christie believed he might compete in the 2016 Iowa Caucuses with the endorsement of King and then-Gov. Terry Branstad.
Neither wound up supporting him.
House Republicans stripped King of his committee assignments in January 2018 after suggested that being called a white supremacist should be considered derogatory.
Hours after leaving office in January, Christie took to Twitter to criticize King, saying his comments were “reprehensible and should be repugnant to any American.”
“It is unacceptable to me and to anyone, I suspect, who has lent him support over his career,” Christie said. “Shame on him.”