Cindy Axne’s Path From Community Activism To Congressional Candidate

While raising her two young sons in West Des Moines, Cindy Axne found a problem: the school district claimed there was only enough space for half of local children to attend full-day kindergarten. A lottery system was used to decide who got to get in, which her first son lost out in. So she started working on a solution, lobbying the school board for eight months to expand it to everyone. She ran the numbers of how it affected kids to show the district the inequity it was causing. But if that didn’t persuade them, she had backup options. “If […]

Can We Start Focusing On The More Winnable Races Now?

Kim Weaver’s candidacy has ended, and a follow-up story from the Des Moines Register raised serious questions about her reasoning for doing so. But whatever, it’s time to move on. Hopefully, part of moving on for Iowa Democratic activists will be a renewed focus on the 1st and 3rd congressional districts. Barring something incredibly dramatic, those two races will be much closer than the deep-red 4th District. And their outcome could very well determine whether Democrats retake the U.S. House and thus are able to launch actual investigations into the Trump Administration. One could make a very compelling argument that the congressional […]

Uh Oh: David Young’s Seat Endangered After AHCA Vote, Ranking Group Says

Republican incumbent David Young’s vote in favor of the AHCA bill makes his reelection much more difficult, the country’s top congressional ranking website reported this morning. The Cook Political Report moved Young’s 3rd District from Likely Republican to Lean Republican in their new ranking of the country’s swing seats. His was one of twenty Republican-held seats that Cook downgraded for the party due to the vote on the very unpopular piece of legislation. “House Republicans’ willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17 percent of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is […]

Payback Time: Iowans Vow Revenge For AHCA Vote

Despite a deluge of phone calls, emails and in-person meetings from concerned Iowans, Iowa Republican Congressmen Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King all voted in favor of the AHCA healthcare bill. The legislation that repealed many provisions of the ACA passed by just two votes. Had any two of those Iowa members flipped their vote, it would have gone back to the drawing board. Democrat Dave Loebsack was the lone no from the state’s delegation. Reaction to the vote in Iowa was swift and overwhelmingly negative online and among people who need their healthcare coverage to live. The bill will take […]

Pete D’Alessandro Launches 3rd District Bid

In what could easily become the most interesting 2018 campaign to watch, Pete D’Alessandro filed papers today to form an exploratory committee for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. D’Alessandro is a longtime Iowa political operative, with a resume that includes prominent campaign positions for Tom Vilsack, Chet Culver and Leonard Boswell. His most notable recent role was Bernie Sanders’ state coordinator for the Iowa Caucus. The winner of the Democratic primary will face two-term Republican David Young in a swing district that covers Des Moines and Southwest Iowa. D’Alessandro remains well-connected with the national Sanders and Our Revolution operations, and has been […]

Mike Sherzan Bows Out Of 3rd District Race

Democratic candidate Mike Sherzan is shutting down his recently-launched campaign for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Sherzan came in second place in Democrats’ primary in 2016, and had hoped to use lessons learned from that bid to better-position himself for the primary, as well as a general election matchup with Republican David Young. But fundraising concerns and personal issues caused him to pull the plug early. “I am exiting this race because I have recently come to the conclusion that conducting the type of campaign I am comfortable with would require substantial financial self-funding, and that’s not how this process should work,” […]

New Ranking Report Push Iowa Congressional Seats To The Right

The Cook Political Report unveiled its new Partisan Voting Index scores for the nation’s congressional seats, and it’s all bad news for Iowa Democrats. Typically, Cook’s ratings change little year-to-year, but the shifting voter loyalties resulting from Donald Trump’s campaign upended the formula. Three of Iowa’s four congressional districts have moved significantly to the right in the new report. Here’s the updated numbers: Incumbent 2017 Previous CD 1 Blum D+1 D+5 CD 2 Loebsack D+1 D+4 CD 3 Young R+1 Even CD 4 King R+11 R+5 The two Eastern Iowa districts that were once Democratic-leaning (even with Rod Blum carrying the 1st […]

Oops: Group Runs Ad Thanking David Young For Vote That Didn’t Happen

Central Iowa viewers watching the NCAA tournament last night may have been a wee bit confused when they saw a TV ad congratulating David Young for a vote he didn’t take on a bill he didn’t support. Deadspin found the humorous mixup made by the conservative American Action Network PAC, which somehow ran a number of ads thanking Republican members of Congress for supporting Paul Ryan’s healthcare bill. The legislation was dramatically pulled from a vote Friday afternoon after Ryan decided he didn’t have enough support to pass it, and the White House announced they were moving on from healthcare reform. “Thank […]

Democrats’ 3rd District Field Developing For 2018

Despite his comfortable victory in 2016, Democrats are eager to take another shot at Republican Congressman David Young. The Des Moines, Council Bluffs and Southwest Iowa-based district was won by Donald Trump 48.5% to 45%, but the recent Iowa Poll showed Trump’s approval in the Des Moines area at a miserable 31%. Young faced a rowdy town hall meeting last week where attendees were rather unhappy with many of the second-term Congressman’s answers, even on some where he gave off a more moderate reply. Starting Line hears that retired businessman Mike Sherzan has been planning another run for the Democratic nomination […]

Jim Mowrer Closes Out Campaign Emphasizing Veteran Record

As Jim Mowrer closes out his campaign for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, he’s getting some help from fellow veterans who have made the journey from soldier to statesman. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts congressman and Iraq War veteran, joined Mowrer at events in Central Iowa this week. The central part of Mowrer’s candidacy has always been his service in the military in Iraq and then back at the Pentagon. Most polls have shown Mowrer trailing incumbent Republican David Young. But a Loras Poll yesterday pegged 17% of voters as undecided, with Young still up five. With that many undecided, there’s a […]