U.S. House District 3 candidate Cindy Axne claims that her ability to work across the aisle and get things done for Iowans will propel her to re-election in a district favored for Republicans.
From working under Iowa governors Tom Vilsack and Terry Branstad to now representing Des Moines and much of Iowa’s southwestern corner as the only Democratic member of its congressional delegation, Axne said she has solved problems by “being out there with the people.”
“The running joke there was my tombstone should read ‘get shit done,’” Axne said. “It’s why I have Republicans who’ve worked with me that support me. They know if you want a problem solved, I’m going to solve it. That’s why I had some of those state workers who were Republicans actually do advertisements for me in my first race. They know I know how to get things done in government and make it more effective.”
Axne decided to run for the House following decades working for the state of Iowa with the intent to fix what she saw as a broken system.
“People were saying, ‘Well, are you going to run for office? Because we really liked what you have to say,’” Axne said. “And it literally happened, and I tell young people this, because it just happened because I stepped up. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew I was not happy with the system. I wasn’t happy with the decisions that the guy was making because I knew if they were hurting me and my family’s loot, they were certainly hurting you and other you know young people and families all across this district, and we needed to do better.”
Iowa holds four seats in the House, more than states with populations under 900,000 like Wyoming and Montana but far short of states with multi-million urban populations. Axne said she’s worked to make sure Iowa’s “voice is heard” despite its primarily rural population.
“We’re a rural state. We get a lot less opportunity than other states, and I’m trying to level that playing field because we shouldn’t be left behind because we’re not as populated,” Axne said.
Along with “raising up the voice of rural America,” Axne said that healthcare and reproductive freedom are her top issues this election cycle. She also mentioned investing in jobs to encourage graduates to stay in the state and addressing Iowans’ mental health.
“This is about working families,” Axne said. “It’s a basic Iowa and America tenet of living your life, working hard, trying to raise your family and having a government that supports that.”
Democrats currently hold a majority in the House of Representatives, but four Democratic candidates running for reelection are now located – due to redrawn districts and political shifts – in R+ districts, meaning that Republicans are more favored to win than Democrats. Axne is one of them.
“When I say our democracy is in peril, and I’m one of four people who have their finger in a dike to hold it together, I don’t have a choice in the matter,” Axne said. “This country is too important.”
If she wins reelection, Axne said she plans to defend Americans’ liberties and continue serving Iowans.
“I stand a good shot of getting reelected again in this really tough district because I work so hard to deliver for Iowans, whether I’m passing agriculture legislation to ensure that our farmers can continue to have a profit to pass onto their family [or] whether I’m fighting for day care opportunities because we have far too many families who have no opportunities for their children, so their economic viability is limited,” Axne said. “I’ve been out there non-stop doing this.”