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Steve King's primary loss Tuesday night isn't unprecedented

It's not common for an incumbent serving in Congress to lose a primary contest, but it does happen.

IOWA, USA — After Steve King went 24 years without ever losing an election, Iowa's Fourth Congressional District will have a new face representing them.

King lost his Tuesday night GOP primary to State Sen. Randy Feenstra.

The result marks follows the congressman's controversial comments regarding white nationalism and being stripped of all committee assignments in Washington.

How often does this shift happen? There are only a handful each cycle historically in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Seven-term Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois lost his contest to Marie Newman in March.

Two years ago, four members of Congress lost, split evenly with two Democrats and Republicans.

In 2018, it was Democrats Joe Crowley of New York and Mike Capuano of Massachusetts,  along with Republicans Robert Pittinger of North Carolina and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

2016 saw three incumbents go down: Chaka Fattah (PA) and Corrine Brown (FL) on the Democratic side, along with Republican Tim Huelskamp (KS).

2014 was the most in modern history with five incumbents losing, mostly Republicans: Eric Cantor of Virginia, Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, Vance McAllister of Louisiana, plus Democrat John Tierney of Massachusetts. 

Other primary night election results

  • 2012: Democrats Silvestre Reyes of Texas and John Sullivan of Michigan, plus Republican Jean Schmidt of Ohio. 
  • 2008: Two incumbents from the same state lost in the primary—Democrat Al Wynn and Republican Wayne Gilchrest, both from Maryland.
  • 2006: Democrat Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and Republican Joe Schwarz of Michigan.

It's important to note, most of these incumbents who've lost in the primary had served an average of three or more terms in office.

RELATED: Iowa Legislature reconvenes following absence due to COVID-19

RELATED: Randy Feenstra defeats Rep. Steve King in Iowa congressional primary

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