Christie Vilsack

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Christie Vilsack
Christie Vilsack.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. House, Iowa, District 4
Bachelor'sKirkland College (1972)
Master'sUniversity of Iowa (1992)
Place of birthMount Pleasant, IA
(dead link)/content/welcome Campaign website
Christie Vilsack campaign logo
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
Christie Vilsack was a 2012 Democratic candidate who sought election to the U.S. House to represent the 4th Congressional District of Iowa. Vilsack ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, 2012, and lost to Steve King, the incumbent from the 5th District, which was removed in redistricting.[1]


Vilsack was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.


  • 1972: Kirkland College in Clinton, New York
  • 1992: University of Iowa, Master’s degree in journalism


  • Taught middle school and high school language arts and journalism[2]
  • Taught English and journalism at Iowa Wesleyan College[2]
  • Worked as a reporter and columnist for the Mount Pleasant News[2]
  • Created a column for[2]



See also: Iowa's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012

Vilsack ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Iowa's 4th District. Vilsack ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Incumbent from the 5th District Steve King ran unopposed in the Republican primary. The two faced off in the general election on November 6, 2012, and Vilsack lost. Candidates wishing to run were required to file by the signature filing deadline of March 16, 2012. The primary elections took place on June 5, 2012.


U.S. House, Iowa District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSteve King Incumbent 53% 200,063
     Democratic Christie Vilsack 44.9% 169,470
     Independent Martin James Monroe 2.2% 8,124
Total Votes 377,657
Source: Iowa Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

Incumbent Steve King, who defeated 2010 opponent Matthew Campbell by over 65,200 votes, faced a considerably more difficult race in 2012. As the New York Times reports, this occurred at the same time support for tea party candidates nationwide has dwindled. In the election's first debate, Democratic challenger Vilsack asked pointed questions regarding a Farm Bill that the U.S. House failed to pass.[3]

However, Vilsack faced an equally uphill battle in a socially conservative district. Like other Democratic candidates running in socially conservative areas, notably Jim Graves who challenged tea-party favorite Michele Bachmann in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, Vilsack tried to steer away from hot button, national issues like abortion. Instead, she focused on local initiatives and ways the government might assist farmers.[4]

Christie Vilsack was the 1st Lady of Iowa during her husband's tenure as governor, from 1998 to 2006.[5][6] During this time, she founded the Iowa Initiative, a group dedicated to preventing unplanned pregnancies.[7] In 2009, she briefly considered running for Senate.[8] In 2011, she announced that she would challenge Republican incumbent Steve King in Iowa's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012.


Steve King vs. Christie Vilsack
Poll Steve King Christie VilsackDon't knowSample Size
Public Policy Polling (September 24-25, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


The policy positions and campaign themes below were listed on Vilsack's website.

  • Conserving Our Land

Excerpt: "Conservation embodies our values, protects our land and water, preserves important traditions of rural life, and creates jobs and economic opportunity. I will go to Congress dedicated to supporting conservation."[9]

  • Education

Excerpt: "Christie Vilsack's plan to strengthen education in Iowa's Fourth District uses the federal government’s limited role in education to support rural schools, remove unfunded mandates, and ensure everyone has access to a quality education that will allow them to build a career in Iowa’s small towns and cities."[10]

  • Making Healthcare More Affordable

Excerpt: "Christie believes that health care must be accessible, affordable, and high quality for all Americans. The Affordable Care Act took important steps toward that goal, like allowing young people to stay on their parent’s health insurance, closing the donut hole in Medicare, and eliminating discrimination based on pre-existing conditions."[11]

  • Fight Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Government

Excerpt: "In order to create the economic opportunity that Iowans deserve, Christie believes we must reign in out-of-control spending. That starts by taking the issue of waste, fraud, and abuse seriously."[12]

Vilsack has also voiced support for hot button issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion rights.[13] She has also outlined detailed proposals on multiple issues at her campaign website.[14]


Christie Vilsack's first TV ad of the election was launched on August 16, 2012.

Christie Vilsack "Just Iowa"[15]

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Vilsack's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Vilsack lost election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Vilsack's campaign committee raised a total of $3,359,507 and spent $3,355,948.[16]


Vilsack is married to her husband, Tom, the former governor of Iowa. Together they raised two sons, Jess and Doug, and have two grandchildren.[2]

External links

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