DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, released her first campaign ad for the 2022 Iowa 3rd Congressional District race, attacking her Republican opponent, State Senator Zach Nunn, R-Bondurant.
The 30-second TV ad accuses Nunn of putting political donations ahead of safety at Adventureland, an amusement park in Altoona, part of Nunn’s state senate district.
The ad ties a bill, HF 558, passed in the Iowa Legislature and was signed into law in 2021 with a child’s death on the Raging River ride at Adventure Land later that year. Nunn sponsored the Senate version of the bill that lowered the minimum age of amusement ride operators from 18 to 16 and required specified training outlined in the bill.
Nunn has received campaign contributions from the Krantz family, who owned the amusement park until 2021.
“An 11-year-old boy is dead after the accident on a ride at Adventureland, and raging river ride had 17 safety violations at the time of the July accident, a tragedy that could have been avoided. But Zach Nunn took money from Adventureland CEO then sponsored legislation to loosen amusement park safety rules. A child died, Zach Nan put his big donors ahead of the safety of Iowa families,” the ad claimed.
However, the ad’s claim is false, the operator at the time of the accident was an 18-year-old.
“Dishonest. Deceitful. Dishonorable. Cindy Axne’s verifiable lie exploits the loss of a child for her own re-election prospects. The ad reflects Axne’s character more than anything. Iowans see through Axne’s false, DC-style smear job and are disappointed,” Bryan Kraber, Nunn’s campaign manager, said in a released statement.
HF 558 had bipartisan support. It passed 29 to 15 in the Iowa Senate with two Democrat State Senators, Tony Bisignano of Des Moines and Kevin Kinney of Oxford, joining Republicans.
The bill passed by a wider margin in the Iowa House, 76 to 17, with Democrat State Representatives Timi Brown-Powers of Waterloo, Molly Donahue of Cedar Rapids, John Forbes of Urbandale, Chris Hall of Sioux City, Steven Hansen of Sioux City, Chuck Isenhart of Dubuque, Kenan Judge of Waukee, Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights (the current House minority leader), Bob Kressig of Cedar Falls, Mary Mascher of Iowa City, Charlie McConkey of Council Bluffs, Todd Prichard of Charles City (the former House minority leader), RasTafari Smith of Waterloo, Sharon Steckman of Mason City, Kristin Sunde of West Des Moines, Phyllis Thede of Davenport, and Ross Wilburn of Ames (the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party) joined Republicans voting for the bill.
The National Republican Congressional Committee released on Wednesday an attack ad targeting Axne for the record-high gas prices being paid by Americans across the country. They have reserved $1.04 million in TV ads for the Des Moines market.
The ad is part of a “five figure ad buy” that targets 12 Democrats in hotly contested seats.
“Democrats launched a war on American energy and now voters across the country are paying the price,” said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer. “The American people know Joe Biden and House Democrats’ anti-energy agenda is responsible for this crisis.”
The Congressional Leadership Fund announced they will spend an additional $975,000 for advertising in the Iowa 3rd Congressional District race.