Candidate Q&A – U.S. Representative District 4

Gun Rights

The candidates for U.S. Representative – District 4 this election cycle are Randy Feenstra (R – Hull, incumbent), Kevin Virgil (R – Sutherland) and Ryan Melton (D – Nevada). Their Q&As are below.

Name: Randy Feenstra

City/town: Hull

Candidate for: Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District

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Explain who you are:

I am a conservative from Hull and have lived in northwest Iowa my entire life. It is where I met my wife, Lynette, of over 30 years and where we raised our four children. My experience includes Head of Sales at the Foreign Candy Company, Hull City Administrator, Iowa State Bank Insurance Manager and Business and Economics professor at Dordt University. I also served as Sioux County Treasurer and Iowa State Senator where I served as the Chair of the Iowa State Senate Ways and Means Committee. I am currently serving my second term in Congress and am running for re-election to continue delivering conservative results for my constituents.

Why did you run for this position?

I first ran for Congress to deliver conservative results for Iowa’s Fourth District. I believe Iowans deserve a seat at the table which is why I am honored to serve on both the House Agriculture and Ways and Means committees. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main streets, small businesses and rural communities in Congress.

What from your background qualifies you for this position?

I have lived in Iowa my entire life and I have a proven record of delivering conservative results. That is why I am the only candidate to have been endorsed by National Right to Life, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and the Iowa Farm Bureau. While Biden continues to leave our border wide open, continues his reckless spending and attacks rural America, I’m working to build the wall, reduce the national debt and stand up for our farm families.

What are your goals if elected?

My top priority is to finish building the southern border wall, end “catch and release” policies and reinstate “Remain in Mexico.” That is why I introduced Sarah’s Law — in memory of 21-year-old Iowan Sarah Root who was killed by a drunk driving illegal immigrant — to detain and punish illegal immigrants who injure or kill American citizens. I also introduced legislation to use money seized from the drug cartels to pay for the construction of the border wall. We must also get our national debt under control and pass a balanced budget. We did it when I served in the Iowa Senate and we must now do it at the national level. Iowa’s Fourth District is also the second largest agriculture district in the nation. That is why I am working to pass a strong farm bill, protect crop insurance, expand biofuels production and create strong trade policies to open new markets for our agriculture producers. 

I humbly ask for your vote on June 4. If you have any questions please visit FeenstraforCongress.com.

Name: Kevin Virgil

City/town: Sutherland, Iowa

Candidate for: U.S. House of Representatives, Iowa’s 4th District

Explain who you are:

I am a fifth-generation Iowan and was raised on a farm in O’Brien County. After high school I went to West Point and later served in the Army (82nd Airborne Division and later in the 75th Ranger Regiment). After 9/11 I was offered an opportunity to serve overseas with the CIA. Later I started a company that sells software solutions to the private sector and to the Department of Defense. I have a bachelor’s degree from West Point and an MBA from Emory University in Atlanta. I have two children; my son is currently in 7th grade and my daughter is in 4th grade.

I am running to represent Iowa’s 4th District in Congress because Western Iowa wants a Congressman who will vote in their interests, and not those of large out-of-state donors. I also believe that several years of poor leadership at the national level have hurt our nation and we need a new generation of leaders who will work hard to return prosperity to America.

Why did you run for this position?

I entered the race because our current congressman is clearly not voting in the interests of his constituents. Over the past four years he has repeatedly voted in an unconstitutional manner — so much that the Republican Liberty Caucus recently gave him a failing grade of 50/100 when rating his compliance with the Constitution. He has voted for nearly every federal spending bill and almost always votes to give more power to the federal government at the expense of the people. This unfortunately makes sense when you consider that 97% of his campaign donations come from outside of Iowa’s 4th District. He doesn’t work for us — he works for his large out-of-state donors. Iowans deserve better and that’s why I am running for Congress as a Republican.

What from your background qualifies you for this position?

I am a veteran and an entrepreneur with a proven track record of success in multiple ventures throughout my life. I have served our country overseas, and worked in multiple capacities within the federal government. I understand the challenges that our country faces from threats abroad, and have a deep understanding of the threat that our out-of-control federal government presents to the American people today. Our current congressman has proven to be a weak leader who has no interest in meeting with his constituents. Iowans deserve better leaders, and I will work hard to provide them with the leadership that they deserve in Congress.

What are your goals if elected?

My top priority is to reduce the size, budget and power of our federal government. I pledge to never vote for a federal tax increase, and will only support tax cuts. I will vote against any spending bill does not prioritize American interests. I also intend to push for a balanced budget and a complete restructuring of our most expensive federal programs, in order to make them more efficient while ensuring that we continue to provide services for those that need them.

I want to return prosperity to small towns in Iowa, and I believe the best way that the federal government can do that is to make it easier for young people to become farmers. I will work hard to increase the availability of farm financing loans for younger people.

I also believe that our national immigration policy is completely broken. This is the top issue that I hear about on the campaign trail and I will work hard to fix it when elected. I propose a hard closure of the southern border, harsh penalties for companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens, and legislation to end the process of ‘citizenship by birthright’ whereby any child born in the United States automatically becomes a citizen regardless of their parents’ legal status.

Name: Ryan Melton

City/town: Nevada

Candidate for: U.S. House, IA-04

Explain who you are:

I’m a 39-year-old father of two boys, aged 5 and 18, and am married to my wonderful wife Laura.  I was born and raised in Omaha, Neb., but did spend my middle school years in Laurens, Iowa with my grandparents in Pocahontas County, which is in our 4th Congressional District.  I graduated from Omaha Central H.S., then earned my undergraduate degree in History and Political Science at Iowa State U., and my M.A. in U.S. History at the University of Kansas.  I’ve been employed by Nationwide Insurance since 2008, where I have been in a people leader position the past eight years. I ran for the U.S. House in our 4th Congressional District in 2022, and am running for the same seat again in 2024.

Why did you run for this position? 

I ran in 2022 because no other Democrat was going to, and knew conceding a quarter of our Congressional districts without a fight was unacceptable.  I also spoke to Republicans who were grateful I ran as they knew competition drives accountability for their candidates. We also have seen disproportionate corporate power take over our politicians and harm our communities, leading to the stealing of our land via eminent domain abuse, the polluting of our water, the extracting of our wealth for others outside the district, the hollowing out of our communities including the loss of small and mid-scale farmers and our rank as having the 2nd highest cancer incidence rate in the nation.  Considering this backslide in our communities, I knew we needed a non-corporate voice that was willing to speak truth to power.  As such, I reject corporate PAC money so I can fight for our people.

What from your background qualifies you for this position?

I grew up in a single parent household that never escaped the stress of poverty.  That shaped me, as I know most in poverty are hard working people getting a raw deal from an economy that’s stacked against them.  I then went to Iowa State University, where I earned my degree in history and political science, and also earned my M.A. in U.S. history at the University of Kansas. My knowledge of our history guides much of what I do, as I know that there’s been a centuries-long struggle of people power vs. disproportionate corporate power, and I’m on the side of the people.  I have a wife and kids, so am also aware of the stresses families face to pay bills.  I’m not wealthy.  I’m also a people leader at work, allowing me to hone my skills in problem solving and people leadership on the biggest scale.

What are your goals if elected?

60% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.  I would advocate for the Pro Act to defend worker rights.  I would advocate for a Medicare for All-style health care system to reduce cost.  I would push for a windfall tax on excessive profit during times of inflation, as corporations take advantage by jacking up prices even though input prices don’t justify it.  We also need to address monopoly power that hinders price competition.  Second, I’m arguably the first candidate in Iowa that ran against the carbon capture pipelines in 2022, and I’m doing so again. They threaten our land via eminent domain, public health, water supply and waste taxpayer money, as carbon sequestration tech under-delivers on its carbon emission reduction promises. Third, we have the second highest cancer incidence rate nationally. Yet, our representatives remain quiet, fearing their corporate donors won’t donate.  I will advocate for research and funding to address this.

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