Cindy Axne is getting a big boost in her bid to win Democrats’ nomination for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. EMILY’s List is announcing this morning that they’re endorsing the small businesswoman from West Des Moines.
The backing from the influential national organization could give Axne an extra advantage in the Democratic primary that was recently reduced from six candidates to three just a few weeks back.
The chatter in Democratic circles was that EMILY’s List and other pro-choice and women’s groups didn’t want to get involved while there were two strong female candidates in the race. Now that Theresa Greenfield is no longer on the ballot after the petition snafu, it leaves Axne as the sole woman running. That should be very helpful in a Democratic primary during a year where electing more women to office is a big priority of most of the party’s voters.
“Cindy Axne is a small business owner and community activist whose deep Des Moines roots have prepared her to stand up for working families in Congress,” EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock said in a statement. “Cindy served the state of Iowa for nearly a decade, holding state lawmakers accountable to the people they serve. Her personal experience as a small business owner who was unable to afford comprehensive health insurance has led to her dedication to protect and expand all Iowans’ access to high-quality, affordable health care. As a working mom, she successfully fought to make full-day kindergarten available for every child in West Des Moines. I have no doubt Cindy will continue to fight for families in our nation’s capital.”
Backing from EMILY’s List should also help Axne on the fundraising front, opening up national networks for her to raise money from. She had stayed close in the fundraising race with Greenfield and Eddie Mauro (who has self-financed), but still trailed their efforts. At the last report, Axne had $165,760 cash-on-hand, Greenfield had $210,709 and Mauro had $333,188.
That’s also important considering Pete D’Alessandro’s fundraising capabilities have apparently skyrocketed since the all-in endorsement he got from Bernie Sanders. He reportedly doubled his fundraising total for the campaign in just two days after Sanders sent out a fundaising appeal to his email list.
With three candidates in the race now, the likelihood of a convention is extremely low. But given all candidates have the funds to compete, have their own set bases of support in the district and have serious campaign teams, the race for the 3rd District nomination could be one that comes down to the wire.
Whoever wins faces two-term Republican Congressman David Young in a district that should be highly competitive this year.
by Pat Rynard