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Democrat Cindy Axne Wins Iowa's 3rd District Primary

cindy axne
Katarina Sostaric
Cindy Axne speaks at her campaign office in West Des Moines shortly after winning the Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

Cindy Axne won the three-way Democratic primary election in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District Tuesday night with about 58 percent of the vote. She will face two-term Rep. David Young (R-Van Meter) in the November general election.

Axne addressed supporters at her campaign office in West Des Moines shortly after the race was called.

“I am so grateful for the support that I’ve received across this district,” Axne said. “And I know you’re all going to be by my side as we take this to a victory in November.”

Axne is a small business owner who previously worked in state government management for about a decade.

Her opponents, Eddie Mauro and Pete D’Alessandro, got about 26 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Axne said they called her and pledged their support.

“I know Pete and Eddie are behind me, and we’re ready to win this thing,” Axne said.

The 3rd District encompasses 16 counties in southwest Iowa, and includes the cities of Des Moines and Council Bluffs. Political analysts consider it a swing district that could flip to a Democratic representative in November.

Speaking after her win, Axne slammed Rep. Young, her general election opponent, for accepting “corporate PAC money” and voting to benefit corporations.

“I got into this race because I was personally very dissatisfied with what was going on in Washington [D.C.],” Axne said.

She said she had 100 meet-and-greet events with voters across the district in the past year.

“I think that came across—that they understand that I’m going to get out to Congress and make sure that their needs are represented out in Washington,” Axne said.

Supporter Nancy Bobo said she is elated with Axne’s victory.

“I’d like to see her debate David Young,” Bobo said. “She would just come out so far on top.”

Axne said it feels great to be part of a wave of women nationwide who have been winning Democratic primaries.

“I think people are realizing that having a woman’s voice at the table is something that we need,” Axne said.

Iowa has never elected a woman to a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann released a statement Tuesday night accusing Axne of "relying on DC special interest groups to get her message out."

"Meanwhile, David Young continues to build on a strong record for southwest Iowa that puts taxpayers above big government," Kaufmann said. 

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter