Kim Weaver is ending her campaign for Iowa's 4th Congressional District.
In a Facebook post Saturday, Weaver, a Democrat, cited threats to her safety, financial security and her mother's ongoing health problems as reasons for her withdrawal.
"Beginning during my 2016 campaign, I have received very alarming acts of intimidation, including death threats," Weaver said in the Facebook post. "While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern."
In an interview with the Des Moines Register on Saturday, Weaver added to that rationale, alleging that the state of Iowa's Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, where she is an employee, saw its budget cut this year as "punishment" for her political candidacy.
The office received a $164,000 cut this year — a 12 percent reduction from the previous year.
"I'm feeling guilty that we lost this funding because I'm running for office," Weaver said, adding that she was prepared to take a "voluntary layoff" if the cut requires a staff reduction.
Weaver said she was told by her supervisor of the connection between her candidacy and the budget cut, and that the supervisor, in turn, was told by a state legislator.
Weaver, of Sheldon, added that her decision was driven in large part by negative responses she's received since the Register's publication of a story describing her efforts to build a career as an internet psychic.
Since the story published in mid-April, Weaver said she's received intimidating phone calls emails and said someone raised a "for sale" sign in her yard — an act she interpreted as a demand that she leave town.
"To me, that sent a message that 'we want you out of here,'" she said of the for sale sign.
Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, tweeted in response to Weaver's comments, noting he thought alleged threats against Weaver were a "fabrication."
I wanted #KimWeaver IN the race-not out. Democrats drove her out of the race-not R's. Death threats likely didn't happen but a fabrication.— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 4, 2017
King said he believed it was Democrats that "drove (Weaver) out," but noted he had hoped she'd stay in the race.
The district, which covers 39 counties in north-central and northwest Iowa, is now served by King. It includes Ames, Fort Dodge, Sioux City and Mason City. King previously defeated Weaver in the districts' 2016 race.
Weaver said in the post that she would redirect funds already raised for her campaign to "the district to continue to oppose Steve King."
Weaver originally announced her plans to run in 2018 for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District in March on MSNBC's "AM Joy."
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