Cindy Axne looks to prioritize affordable healthcare, taxes in Congress in race against Rep. David Young

Cindy Axne looks to use her values and experience in state government to represent Iowans in the 3rd Congressional District.


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U.S. Capitol Police arrested three men on July 30, 2018, in the Senate Ohio Clock Corridor, charging them with unlawful entry and impersonating Senate staff.

Emily Wangen, Politics Reporter

Helping not just friends, but strangers alike.

That’s the lesson Cindy Axne, the Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat, said her parents taught her, and that has motivated her to run against Republican incumbent David Young for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Des Moines native graduated from the University of Iowa and has worked for approximately 20 state-governmental agencies in her decade as a public servant, but it was the 2016 election that ultimately spurred her to run for an elective office.

“I felt the need to step up, use the lessons, the values my parents taught me and use the skills that I had that I thought could help make the lives better for the people here in this district,” Axne said.

While working in state government, she helped bring Iowa’s wind-energy industry to scale in the state when she oversaw the Governor’s Agenda on Clean Energy and the Environment.

If elected, Axne said, she will keep Iowans in mind and visit her constituents when she can. Legislatively, she hopes to address health care, funding for mental-health services, and reversing the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress this past winter.

She believes it is important for Americans to have access to high-quality and affordable health care, she said, adding she will work to maintain and build upon the Affordable Care Act.

“Health care, of course, here in Iowa is one of the most important things to address because it’s such an issue here for the people in this state,” Axne said. “I want to get out there and make sure everyone has access to affordable, effective care.”

A July poll by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research had Axne up by 4 points against Young with a 19-point lead among women and a 32-point lead with Des Moines residents.

However, data from the poll may not be the most representative of the district. The 500 likely voters surveyed accounts for 0.1 percent of active voters in the district when the poll was taken.

Axne is one of many women making a bid for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. Approximately 20 percent of members of the U.S. House are women. Axne believes it is important for the makeup of Congress to be more reflective of the U.S. population.

“If your government reflects the people it serves, you’re going to make better decisions,” she said.

Axne is one of two women running for a seat in the House in Iowa. Democratic candidate Abby Finkenauer is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District.

“[The voters] want to see people who know how to solve problems and have experience in doing that,” Axne said.

Axne and Finkenauer are both endorsed by Emily’s List, a national organization that aims to elect women from the Democratic Party to offices at the state and federal level.

While on the campaign trail, Axne’s focus has been to meet the voters in the district, noting she has held approximately 100 meet-and-greets with residents of the district as a way to get to know voters and hear their concerns.

“When government functions well, it serves a really great purpose andcan raise up the lives of the people who live here,” Axne said.