Famed horror writer Stephen King issued a last-minute plea to his Iowa-based fans to vote a fellow Steve King, a Republican representative in the state, out of public office during Tuesday’s midterm elections.
“Iowans, for personal reasons I hope you’ll vote Steve King out,” the writer King wrote to his five million Twitter followers. “I’m tired of being confused with this racist dumbbell.”
The political King, an eight-term congressman, routinely spouts white nationalist views and recently endorsed a far-right white nationalist in Toronto’s mayoral race. He also frequently retweets other white supremacists on Twitter and has warned about “mixing cultures.”
The author King has regularly wielded his social media account to criticize politicians, most notably President Donald Trump. Last month, he challenged Trump’s political assertions about asylum seekers, firing back that the so-called caravan of migrants fleeing violence in Central America were simply “scared and hungry people,” not an existential threat to American values.
He simply followed up with a note of disappointment, telling the president: “Jesus, man.”
King, the congressman, has been forced to go on the defensive several times in recent days, erupting at a questioner during a forum in his home state last week who asked the lawmaker about his political views. An unidentified man appeared to link King’s rhetoric with the suspect in the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month, an assertion that caused the politician to go ballistic.
“No,” King told the man, before telling security to escort him from the room. “Do not associate me with that shooter.”
Despite his denial, the lawmaker has recently lost a number of high profile donors over his political stances. Land O’Lakes, the Minnesota dairy-giant, said last week it would no longer donate to his campaign because the company wanted its contributions to be used as “a positive force for good.” Two other major donors have also withdrawn support in recent days.
Though still the favorite, King is facing a tough re-election battle against Democrat J.D. Scholten.