(The Center Square) – Incumbent U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-West Des Moines, and her challenger State Senator Zach Nunn, R-Bondurant, are in a heated race for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.
As of October 18, according to Ballotpedia, the Cook Political Report and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball consider the race as leaning Republican while Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales said it’s a toss-up. Axne narrowly defeated David Young, the Republican who faced her in the 2018 and 2020 elections. Republicans need to gain five districts to gain a majority in the House, where Democrats hold a 220-212 majority with three vacancies, Ballotpedia said.
Absentee voting in Iowa began October 19. Election Day is November 8.
Axne said on her website that her top priority is securing Iowa families in good-paying jobs. She’s seeking to raise wages and protect unions. She voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. She said she also supports a National Paid Family Leave Act.
One of the issues in the race is abortion.
Axne is in favor of keeping abortion legal. She co-sponsored the Women’s Healthcare Protection Act to codify Roe v. Wade.
Nunn said in a Des Moines Register op-ed that he believes life begins at conception and that it’s necessary to be compassionate toward both the mother and the baby, but there are real-world scenarios that aren’t black-and-white.
“There are medical emergencies that happen, like ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages, that are beyond our control,” he said. “That is why the heartbeat bill I supported in the Legislature contained specific exceptions for horrific circumstances like rape, incest and fetal abnormalities, and to save the life of the mother.”
Nunn sponsored the 2021 Iowa Senate Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the state’s constitution that would declare the constitution doesn’t recognize a right to abortion or require public funding of abortion. Nunn voted in favor of Iowa’s SF2381, which would have given pregnancy support services centers $1 million under certain conditions.
According to his website, Nunn’s also running on a platform of protecting the First Amendment and the Second Amendment, building a stronger economy by stopping tax and spend handouts, and supporting law enforcement and first responders.
“We must not defund the police or abolish border security that combats human traffickers and the exploitation of others,” he said.
He said he will support policies that prioritize veterans, active military and families and mental health. Nunn said he’s a pro-life leader who wants to protect seniors, the disabled and the unborn. He wants to help Iowa agriculture take advantage of value-added production, carbon sequestration and regenerative agriculture.
Axne has received $6,218,163 for her campaign and has spent $4,489,434, according to reports the Federal Election Commission has posted. The six largest donations to Axne’s campaign are from House Victory Project 2022, Prism Communications ($50,532.48/Memo: 2020 Media Refund), Protect the House Majority Victory Fund ($46,093.56) and Elect Democratic Women ($27,676.43 for the general election and $25,629.39 for the primary election).
Nunn has received about a third of that amount, with $2,106,850.41. He has loaned the campaign a total of $120,000. He’s received more than $200,000 from WinRed, a GOP donations processing platform, and $70,674.51 from Take Back the House 2022.