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Birthdate: May 28, 1949
Birth Place: Storm Lake, IA, United States
Residence: Kiron, IA
Religion: Roman Catholic
First Elected: 2002
District: District 4
Undergraduate: Northwest Missouri State University
Steve King was born in Storm Lake, Iowa, and resides in Kiron. He attended Northwest Missouri State University, taking courses toward becoming a wildlife officer.
He founded King Construction, an earth-moving company, in 1975. King's oldest son is now in charge of the company's day-to-day operations.
King founded the Kiron Business Association in the 1980s. His involvement with the Iowa Land Improvement Contractors' Association led the organization to add regional and national offices and develop a growing interest in public policy.
He was elected to the Iowa Senate in 1996 and served there until 2002, when he was elected to the U.S. House.
King and his wife, Marilyn, have three sons.
Steve King was elected to represent Iowa's 5th District in 2002 with a conservative philosophy on both social and economic issues. He has since gained a reputation for speaking bluntly, occasionally getting himself into trouble.
King noted during the 2008 presidential campaign that then-Sen. Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein, and he said people in the Middle East would dance in the streets if he were elected president.
He was criticized for his 2008 assertion that living in Iraq during the U.S. war there was safer than living in Washington, D.C.
He apologized in 2006 to former White House reporter Helen Thomas after telling Republican activists in Iowa about the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: "There probably are not 72 virgins in the hell he's at. And if there are, they probably all look like Helen Thomas."
King in 2009 reintroduced a bill that would make English the country's official language. He criticized President Obama in March of that year for Obama's executive order allowing federal funding for stem cell research on human embryos.
He caused controversy in 2010 with his comments suggesting Obama favored people of color over Caucasians. He refused to retreat from the statement, resulting in criticism from some fellow Republicans.
In 2012, King said he would file suit challenging Obama's authority to bypass Congress and refuse to deport illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and have met certain conditions.
King said he believes the government regulates businesses too heavily and imposes too many taxes. He has proposed eliminating the federal income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax.
King opposes abortion rights and affirmative action, and he has supported right-to-work legislation that would limit union activity. King also opposes same-sex marriage rights and supports a state constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage in Iowa, which legalized gay marriage in 2009.
He opposed a proposal to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. He said at a congressional hearing in 2011 that those who claim they cannot chose who they fall in love with could make the same argument to justify polygamy.
Since being elected to Congress, King hasn't faced a serious challenge, reflecting the 5th District's overwhelming Republican voter registration advantage. However, redistricting following the 2010 census resulted in the loss of one of Iowa's five congressional seats and has dramatically reshaped the district. The new 4th District includes less conservative areas, including parts of north-central Iowa and the college town of Ames.
In the November 2012 general election, he faces a better funded opponent, Democrat Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa governor and current agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.
Source: Associated Press
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