Abby Finkenauer

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Abby Finkenauer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byRod Blum
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 99th district
In office
January 12, 2015 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byPat Murphy
Succeeded byLindsay James
Personal details
Abby Lea Finkenauer

(1988-12-27) December 27, 1988 (age 31)
Sherrill, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Daniel Wasta
(m. 2020)
EducationDrake University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Abby Lea Finkenauer (born December 27, 1988)[1][2][3] is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative from Iowa's 1st congressional district since 2019. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Her district serves much of the northeast quadrant of the state, including Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and her hometown of Dubuque.

Before being elected to Congress, Finkenauer served in the Iowa House of Representatives for the 99th district from 2015 to 2019. Her committee assignments included Economic Growth, Labor, Transportation, and Ways and Means. She was also a member of the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.[3]

On November 6, 2018, Finkenauer and fellow Democrat Cindy Axne became the first women from Iowa elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Finkenauer also became the second-youngest woman to ever be elected to the U.S. House.

Early life and education[edit]

Finkenauer grew up in Sherrill, Iowa.[4][5] Her father is a welder and her mother works at a public school.[6]

She graduated from Hempstead High School in Dubuque.[4] In 2011, Finkenauer graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a bachelor's degree in public relations.[7]

Early political career[edit]

In 2006, Finkenauer was a page for U.S. Representative Jim Nussle, a Republican who represented Northeast Iowa in Congress.[3][5] The following year, Finkenauer was a page for Pat Murphy, the Democratic Speaker of the Iowa State House of Representatives.[3][5]

In 2007, Finkenauer was the Iowa volunteer coordinator for the Joe Biden presidential campaign.[5] She was later legislative aide for Iowa Democratic State Representative Todd Taylor and communications specialist for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.[5]

Iowa House of Representatives[edit]

Murphy gave up his seat in 2014 to make an unsuccessful run for Congress, and Finkenauer ran for Murphy's old seat and won. In the Democratic primary, Finkenauer defeated defense attorney Steve Drahozal, receiving 57.8% of the vote.[8] In the general election, she faced lawyer Daniel Dlouhy and defeated him, receiving 60.8% of the vote.[9][10] She was 25 when first elected to the Iowa House of Representatives.

She was unopposed for reelection in 2016.[4][11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



In May 2017, Finkenauer announced her candidacy for Iowa's 1st congressional district, which was held by Republican and Dubuque resident Rod Blum.[12] Blum had defeated her former boss, Murphy, in 2014.

On June 5, 2018, she won the Democratic primary, defeating former congressional staffer Thomas Heckroth, engineer Courtney Rowe and retired military officer George Ramsey. She received 66.9% of the vote.[13]

As of September 2018, her race was classified as Lean Democratic or Tilt Democratic by 3 major rating firms.[14] On October 1, 2018, former President Barack Obama endorsed Finkenauer.[15] She defeated Blum with 50.9% of the vote, a margin of 5%.[16][17]


In 2020, Finkenauer ran again without any Democratic primary opposition. She was defeated in the general election by Republican challenger Ashley Hinson. To date, Finkenauer is one of twelve Democratic freshmen in swing seats who were defeated during the 2020 election cycle.


She and Cindy Axne, elected from the 3rd district, are the first women to represent Iowa in the House.[4][18][19] She is the second youngest woman ever elected to the House, being about ten months older than fellow 2018 freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez;[20] Finkenauer turned 30 a week before being sworn in in January.[21]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]


Iowa House of Representatives 99th district election, 2014[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Abby Finkenauer 7,072 60.6%
Republican Daniel Dlouhy 4,567 39.2%
Nonpartisan Write-ins 23 0.2%
Total votes 11,662 100%
Democratic hold


Democratic primary election of Iowa's 1st congressional district, 2018[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Abby Finkenauer 29,525 66.90%
Democratic Thomas Heckroth 8,467 19.18%
Democratic Courtney Rowe 3,320 7.52%
Democratic George Ramsey 2,786 6.31%
Democratic Write-ins 36 0.08%
Total votes 44,134 100%
U.S. House election, 2018:[24] Iowa District 1
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Abby Finkenauer 169,496 50.9 +4.8
Republican Rod Blum (Incumbent) 153,077 45.6 -7.7
Libertarian Troy Hageman 10,239 3.1 +3.1
Write-ins 171 0.05 -0.15
Majority 16,419 5.3
Turnout 332,983 100
Democratic gain from Republican Swing +12.5


Democratic primary election of Iowa's 1st congressional district, 2020[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Abby Finkenauer (Incumbent) 72,474 99.3%
Nonpartisan Write-ins 482 0.7%
Total votes 72,956 100%

Personal life[edit]

Finkenauer married Daniel Wasta, the Iowa Political Director for the Elizabeth Warren 2020 presidential campaign, in August 2020.[26][27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Abby Finkenauer". Iowa State University. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "Iowa's 1st Congressional District". ABC News. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Iowa Legislature: Legislators: Abby Finkenauer". Iowa General Assembly. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Godfrey, Elaine (July 29, 2018). "The Fight for Iowa's White Working-Class Soul". The Atlantic.
  5. ^ a b c d e Barton, Thomas J. (October 18, 2014). "Iowa House District 99: Age belies Finkenauer's real political experience". Telegraph Herald. Dubuque, Iowa. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Rynard, Pat (January 26, 2015). "New Legislator Profile: Abby Finkenauer". Iowa Starting Line.
  7. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  8. ^ Jacobson, Ben. "Finkenauer wins House primary". Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Reber, Craig D. "Democrat Finkenauer defeats Dlouhy". Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  10. ^ "Iowa Secretary of State 2014 General Election Canvass Summary" (PDF). Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  11. ^ Barton, Thomas J. (May 3, 2017). "Exclusive: Iowa Rep. Finkenauer to challenge Blum for U.S. House seat in 2018". Telegraph Herald. Dubuque, Iowa. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  12. ^ Christinia Crippes (May 3, 2017). "Finkenauer seeks 1st District seat". The Courier. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah. "Iowa Primary Election Results". Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "Iowa's 1st Congressional District election, 2018 - Ballotpedia". Ballotpedia. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  15. ^ Lynch, James Q. (October 1, 2018). "Obama endorses Hubbell, Finkenauer". The Gazette.
  16. ^ "Iowa Election Results: First House District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  17. ^, scytl. "Election Night Reporting". Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "This Iowan could become the youngest woman in Congress. But first, she has to beat incumbent Rod Blum". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  19. ^ Lynch, James Q. (June 27, 2018). "Even if she wins, Finkenauer may not be youngest congresswoman". The Gazette.
  20. ^ "A List Of Firsts For Women In This Year's Midterm Elections". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Merelli, Annalisa (November 7, 2018). "Meet the other 29-year-old woman elected to Congress". Quartz. ... though she will be 30 by the time she is inaugurated
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Election Night Reporting".
  24. ^ "Iowa General Election 2018". Iowa Secretary of State. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  25. ^ "Election Night Reporting | UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 1 – DEMOCRATIC". Iowa Secretary of State.
  26. ^ "Iowa Congresswoman Engaged to Marry Presidential Candidate's Staffer". October 20, 2019. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  27. ^ "Rep. Abby Finkenauer married on Saturday in private ceremony". KWWL. August 9, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.

External links[edit]

Iowa House of Representatives
Preceded by
Pat Murphy
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 99th district

Succeeded by
Lindsay James
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rod Blum
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Ashley Hinson
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Veronica Escobar
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Russ Fulcher