Rep.-elect Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa-01)
DATE OF BIRTH: Dec. 27, 1988
RESIDENCE: Dubuque, Iowa
OCCUPATION: State lawmaker
EDUCATION: B.A., Drake University
Abby Finkenauer defeated Rep. Rod Blum, a two-term Republican, to become one of the first women to represent Iowa in the House, part of a wave of progressive young women sweeping into Congress.
Trump won the 20-county district in 2016, but former President Obama took the vote in 2008 and 2012.
This year, trade played a role in Finkenauer’s victory in a heavily agricultural district.
As the 29-year-old, who becomes the second youngest member of Congress, canvassed coffee shops, homecoming parades and football games, she heard concerns from farmers and hammered the president’s trade policies.
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Throughout the campaign she touted her blue-collar background, praising her father who worked for years as a union pipefitter welder and her mother who worked for Dubuque Community Schools.
She keeps a worn-out sweatshirt her dad wore on the job to remind her of her roots in northeast Iowa. She says she’ll be taking it with her to Washington.
Rep.-elect Cindy Axne (D-Iowa.-03)
DATE OF BIRTH: April 20, 1965
RESIDENCE: West Des Moines, Iowa
OCCUPATION: Small business owner
EDUCATION: B.A., University of Iowa; M.B.A., Kellogg School at Northwestern University
FAMILY: Husband, John; two sons
Cindy Axne is flipping Iowa’s 3rd District by defeating Rep. David YoungDavid Edmund YoungFormer Rep. David Young wins GOP primary in bid for old House seat Trump lends support to swing district Republicans Former ‘Apprentice’ contestant ranks Trump next to Mother Teresa on women’s issues MORE (R-Iowa). The district was seen as a true toss-up, having voted for Obama and then Trump in the past two presidential elections. It includes parts of Des Moines and rural areas.
A fifth-generation Iowan, Axne grew up in Des Moines. After graduating from the University of Iowa she moved to Chicago to work for the Tribune Company and also earned her M.B.A. from Northwestern. She later moved to Wisconsin with her husband, John, where she started a small business.
But the two decided to return to Iowa to raise their two sons in Axne’s hometown.
Axne will be a first-time lawmaker, but she has long been engaged in her community. She works with the Iowa Voters for Companion Animals, advocating against puppy mills in the state.
Axne is active in her local church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and as a mentor at the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.