U.S. Rep. Steve King won his sixth term representing a congressional district that includes Webster County after fending off an election challenge from perhaps his strongest foe, Democrat Christie Vilsack.
Vilsack, of Ames, won Webster County, scoring 9,299 votes or 52.89 percent, according to unofficial election returns posted Tuesday night.
In Webster County, King, R-Kiron, won 7,971 votes or 44.73 percent.
That setback did not stop him from winning the 4th Congressional District, which includes Webster County and 38 other counties.
Across the district, King won 56 percent of the vote compared to Vilsack's 41.86 percent, according to data released by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz.
''Throughout this race we have run a positive, issues-based campaign that reflects our shared Iowa values and common sense," King said in a written statement. "In 11 contested races, I've never run a negative advertisement. We've always sought to inform voters with the objective truth and it has always paid off in the ballot box.''
He repeated his pledge to repeal the health care reform he calls ObamaCare. He said he would also press for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
''I'm proud of the campaign we ran, and I can't thank our staff, our volunteers, and my family enough for everything they've done,'' Vilsack said in a written statement. ''We gave the voters in the Fourth District a choice and that's what democracy is all about.''
King now represents the 5th Congressional District, which is essentially western Iowa. Reapportionment placed King and U.S. Rep. Tom Latham into the same district. A primary race between the two veteran Republican lawmakers was averted last year when Latham moved to Clive to challenge U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Des Moines, in the 3rd Congressional District.
Vilsack, the wife of Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor and current U.S. secretary of agriculture, was making her first run for public office.