Zach Nunn Declares Victory Before Race Is Called

Iowa Republican U.S. Congressional candidate Zach Nunn speaks to supporters during a Republican Party of Iowa election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By Nikoel Hytrek

November 9, 2022

Despite the race remaining too-close-to-call as of this morning, Republican Zach Nunn declared victory around 11:30pm last night in the race for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.

“Every precinct has been counted, and team, we’ve won,” Nunn told a crowd at the Hilton hotel in downtown Des Moines last night. “Guys, this has been, I think for all of us, an amazing night. Look, Iowans elected us to make a change and we are committed to giving it to them. Our victory tonight is a win for Iowa.”

The Associated Press has still not called the race. Rep. Cindy Axne currently trails by over 2,000 votes cast out of 310,000. The Secretary of State’s website shows Nunn with 155,972 votes compared to Axne’s 153,905, or about 50.25% to 49.58%.

The Axne campaign said they’re waiting to ensure every vote has been counted before making a statement.

Matt Sinovic, the executive director of Progress Iowa released this statement:

“Last night Republican Zach Nunn attempted to claim victory while there are still votes to be counted and while no major news outlets have called the race. Nunn’s attempt to cut the vote count short is exactly why people are so frustrated with politics. Iowans want to make sure the will of the people is heard.

“Voters in the third congressional district will decide who their next representative is, not Zach Nunn.”

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Axne was first elected in 2018 and and is the sole Iowa Democrat in the House of Representatives. She sits on House committees for agriculture and financial services, as well as related subcommittees.

The race between Axne and Nunn was characterized largely by abortion. Axne spotlighted the extreme views Nunn has about restricting the right for American women and others, including a strict ban with narrow exceptions he voted for in the Iowa Senate. Axne consistently said decisions about abortion belong between the pregnant patient, their doctor, and anyone else they want to involve.

Nunn largely campaigned against the Biden Administration, making crime, immigration, and inflation his big issues. He did not offer solutions but said he would work for legislation like Iowa’s recent tax cuts at the federal level.


Nikoel Hytrek

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  • Nikoel Hytrek

    Nikoel Hytrek is Iowa Starting Line’s longest-serving reporter. She covers LGBTQ issues, abortion rights and all topics of interest to Iowans. Her biggest goal is to help connect the dots between policy and people’s real lives. If you have story ideas or tips, send them over to [email protected].

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