Getting confused for someone else on Twitter can be scary, even for horror author Stephen King.
But after years of name-confusion and misdirected tweets, the suspense writer is feeling some relief this week.
“Iowa Steve King lost,” King tweeted Wednesday. “I am the last Steve King standing.”
The reference to GOP Rep. Steve King comes a day after the lawmaker lost his primary, ending a nearly two-decade career overshadowed by racist comments.
King (the novelist) has fended off Twitter messages likely meant for the congressman. “Let’s get 1 thing straight. I’m not THAT Steve King,” the “It” and “Carrie” author tweeted last year. The clarification came around the time Rep. King made inflammatory remarks about rape and incest.
A vocal critic of President Donald Trump and donor to Democrats, the writer has pleaded with Iowans to vote the other King out of office once before when the congressman was up for reelection. “I’m tired of being confused with this racist dumbbell,” he said.
His residence in Maine hasn’t kept him from offering advice in other state’s elections. He thinks South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is “a dork.” Closer to home, he won’t be voting for vulnerable Sen. Susan Collins anytime soon.
“She has to go,” he said in May, after lending his name to emails from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raising funds for her opponent.
This week’s loss for King the politician was the latest step in his journey toward irrelevance. Last year, Republican House leaders stripped King of his committee assignments after he gave an interview to The New York Times questioning when such terms as “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization” had become “offensive.” Now lobbyists are making it clear he shouldn’t expect a soft landing on K Street once he leaves office.
As for King the writer, he’s had a busy few months in the public eye. He started out the year by walking back tweets downplaying the importance of diversity in the arts. When the coronavirus pandemic hit in the spring, people were quick to point out the eerie prescience of “The Stand,” which he wrote in the 1970s.
“I keep having people say, ‘Gee, it’s like we’re living in a Stephen King story,’” he told NPR in April. “And my only response to that is, ‘I’m sorry.’”
The last King standing did not respond to Heard on the Hill’s request for comment (probably because he had other Twitter mentions in the way).