Cindy Axne

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Cindy Axne
Axne Official Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byDavid Young
Personal details
Cynthia Lynne Wadle

(1965-04-20) April 20, 1965 (age 55)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Iowa (BA)
Northwestern University (MBA)
WebsiteHouse website

Cynthia Lynne Axne /ˈæksni/[1] (née Wadle, April 20, 1965) is an American businesswoman and politician serving as the U.S. Representative from Iowa's 3rd congressional district since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, she defeated incumbent Republican David Young in the 2018 elections. The district is anchored in the state capital, Des Moines; it includes much of the state's southwest quadrant, including Council Bluffs.

Early life and career[edit]

Axne was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1965, the daughter of Terry and Joanne Wadle.[2] She graduated from Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University.[3]

After graduating from college, Axne worked in leadership development and strategic planning for the Tribune Company in Chicago. From 2005 through 2014, she worked in Iowa state government on service delivery in over 20 state agencies in the executive branch.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

During the 2018 elections, Axne ran for the United States House of Representatives in Iowa's 3rd congressional district.[4][5]

Axne won the primary election with 57.91% of the vote.[6] She defeated incumbent Representative Young in the general election and became, along with Abby Finkenauer, one of the first women from Iowa elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.[7]


Axne took office amid the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown and requested that her pay be withheld until the shutdown ended.[8] On January 30, 2019, Axne co-sponsored a bill to prevent future federal government shutdowns from happening; the bill was titled Shutdown to End All Shutdowns (SEAS Act).[9]

Axne is currently serving on the United States House Committee on Agriculture. After Republican Steve King, representing Iowa's 4th congressional district, was removed from all his committee assignments by Republican leadership for making racist remarks, Axne became the only Iowan on the committee.[10]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Cindy Axne speaking to 2019 Women's March attendees in the rotunda of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines
Iowa 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2018[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Axne 32,070 57.91
Democratic Eddie J. Mauro 14,582 26.33
Democratic Pete D'Alessandro 8,595 15.52
Democratic Write-ins 136 0.25
Total votes 55,383 100
Iowa 3rd Congressional District General Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Axne 175,642 49.3
Republican David Young (incumbent) 167,933 47.1
Libertarian Bryan Holder 7,267 2.0
Legal Marijuana Now Mark Elworth Jr. 2,015 0.6
Green Paul Knupp 1,888 0.5
Independent Joe Grandanette 1,301 0.4
n/a Write-ins 195 0.1
Total votes 356,241 100.0
Iowa 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2020[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Axne (incumbent) 76,681 99.2
n/a Write-ins 623 0.8
Total votes 77,304 100.0%

Personal life[edit]

Axne and her husband, John, currently operate a digital design firm. They have two teenage sons and live in West Des Moines.[3] Axne and her family are members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cindy, Axne. "Protecting Iowans' health care should be a top priority for #IA03. That's not rhetoric, that's my record. In Congress, I've fought to lower costs of care, protect rural hospitals, expand telehealth, and I've NEVER voted to repeal protections for pre-existing conditions". Twitter. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  2. ^ "Candidate Conversation - Cindy Axne (D)". Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. August 31, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Three takeaways on Cindy Axne, 3rd District Democrat running for Congress". The Des Moines Register. May 1, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  4. ^ Mike Brownlee (June 2, 2017). "Democrat Cindy Axne looking to unseat David Young in Iowa congressional race | Politics". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  5. ^ William Petroski (May 26, 2018). "What are the key issues for Cindy Axne, Democratic candidate for the 3rd District?". The Des Moines Register.
  6. ^ "Iowa's 3rd District: Cindy Axne wins primary, will vie against GOP Rep. David Young". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "Iowa voters elect female governor, 2 female U.S. representatives, record number of female lawmakers". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  8. ^ Peterson, Mike. "Axne axes salary during shutdown". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  9. ^ Peterson, Mike. "Axne pushes government shutdown ban bill". Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  10. ^ "Cindy Axne will serve on House agriculture committee, again giving Iowa a spot after Steve King removed". Des Moines Register. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Election Night Reporting". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  12. ^ "Election Night Reporting | United States Representative District 3 – Democratic". Iowa Secretary of State.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Young
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 3rd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Kelly Armstrong
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jim Baird