Rep. David Young looks to create opportunities for Iowans in Congress

U.S. Rep. David Young was first elected in the 2014 midterm elections, now he’s looking to represent the people of Iowa’s 3rd District for two more years.


Katelyn Weisbrod

U.S. Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, speaks in his office on March 14, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

Emily Wangen, Politics Reporter

Seeking to serve a third term, Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, hopes to continue serving as a financial “watchdog” for Iowans as a member of Congress.

Young, 50, is running for re-election this fall to the House of Representative for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Prior to being elected in 2014, Young served as the chief of staff to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The Van Meter native graduated from Drake University with a degree in English.

Young, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, said he will prioritize strengthening the economy, continuing tax cuts, sticking to commonsense rules and regulations, and reducing tariffs.

“People just work hard in this district; some people work two or three jobs, and they deserve to keep more of their hard-earned dollars,” Young said.

Recent tariffs levied by President Donald Trump make him nervous, he said, and he hopes they are only a short-term tool used in negotiations.

I don’t like tariffs, I think tariffs are a tax on consumers, employers, and employees

“I don’t like tariffs, I think tariffs are a tax on consumers, employers, and employees,” Young said.

The biggest lesson he’s learned in Congress is the importance of keeping in touch with the 700,000 constituents who live in the district, he said. Young refers to the people of Iowa’s 3rd District as his “bosses,” noting that they sent him to Washington to work on their behalf.

To keep in contact with them, he said, he visits the district each weekend and travels to each of its 16 counties on a monthly basis. He also visits when Congress is out of session.

“They want to have access to those who are at the table making those decisions that affect our everyday lives,” Young said.

He stressed that the importance of building relationships reaches farther than Iowa and surpasses party lines. Much of the legislation introduced by Young is cosponsored with a House Democrat. Before he introduces a bill or an amendment, he said, he looks for someone on the other side of the aisle to join him.

“Relationships are important,” Young said. “I recognize that you can’t do it alone, and it’s good to build those bridges.”

He is running against small-business owner Cindy Axne, and the race has been labeled as a tossup by the Cook Political Report. Young said he sees the competitiveness of the race in a positive light, noting that he believes it has been a competitive district in past elections.

“It can be tough, but that’s OK, it just makes you work harder,” he said.

The latest voter-registration numbers published by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office on Sept. 4 show a slim edge (17) of active Republicans in the district over Democratic voters. There are also some no-party and other-party voters.

Recently, Young received support from Americans for Prosperity, a political interest group for economic freedom founded by Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries. The group has given Young a lifetime score of 89 percent based on his voting record. Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, of the 1st District has also received backing from the group.