|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Iowa's 3rd district
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2023
|Preceded by||David Young|
|Succeeded by||Zach Nunn|
Cynthia Lynne Wadle
April 20, 1965
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
|Education||University of Iowa (BA)|
Northwestern University (MBA)
Cynthia Lynne Axne (née Wadle; born April 20, 1965) is an American politician who served as the U.S. representative from Iowa's 3rd congressional district from 2019 until 2023. She is currently a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Biden Administration.
A member of the Democratic Party, Axne narrowly defeated incumbent Republican David Young in the 2018 elections. The district was anchored in the state capital Des Moines; it included much of the state's southwest quadrant, including Council Bluffs. Axne ran for reelection to a third term in 2022, but lost to Republican challenger Zach Nunn, a U.S. Air Force officer.
Axne was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1965, the daughter of Terry and Joanne Wadle. 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.
After graduating from college, Axne worked in leadership development and strategic planning for the Tribune Company in Chicago. From 2005 to 2014, she worked in the Iowa state government on service delivery in over 20 state agencies in the executive branch.
In 2018, Axne ran for the United States House of Representatives in Iowa's 3rd congressional district. She won the Democratic primary election with 57.91% of the vote and defeated incumbent Representative David Young in the general election, becoming, with Abby Finkenauer, one of the first two women from Iowa elected to the House. Young carried 15 of the district's 16 counties, but Axne won Polk County, the district's most populous county and home to Des Moines, by over 30,000 votes, far exceeding the overall margin of 8,000.
In 2020, Axne won the Democratic primary virtually unopposed, facing only write-in candidates. She then defeated David Young in a rematch in the general election, with 48.9% of the vote to Young's 47.6%.
Axne ran for reelection and lost to Republican nominee Zach Nunn by a margin of 0.7%.
Axne took office during the 2018–2019 United States federal government shutdown and requested that her pay be withheld until the shutdown ended. On January 30, 2019, she co-sponsored a bill, the Shutdown to End All Shutdowns (SEAS) Act, to prevent future federal government shutdowns from happening.
In September 2021, Axne was accused of failing to disclose up to $645,000 in stock trades. Reports also found that she had bought and sold stocks in companies she was tasked to oversee as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
In July 2022, The Committee on Ethics voted to clear Axne of any wrongdoing and dismissed previously filed complaints on stock trading.
In September 2022, Axne voted for the Inflation Reduction Act by proxy while on vacation in France.
As of October 2022, Axne has voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time. In an October 2022 interview, she called Biden "the most impactful president we've seen in this country's history".
In 2022, Axne voted for H.R. 1808: Assault Weapons Ban of 2022.
|Democratic||Eddie J. Mauro||14,582||26.33|
|Republican||David Young (incumbent)||167,933||47.1|
|Legal Marijuana Now||Mark Elworth Jr.||2,015||0.6|
|Democratic||Cindy Axne (incumbent)||76,681||99.2|
|Democratic||Cindy Axne (incumbent)||219,205||48.9|
|Libertarian||Bryan Jack Holder||15,361||3.4|
|Democratic||Cindy Axne (incumbent)||154,117||49.6|
On June 7, 2023, Axne was appointed as Senior Advisor for Rural Engagement, Delivery and Prosperity to the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Biden Administration.
Axne and her husband, John, operate a digital design firm. They have two sons and live in West Des Moines. They are members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines.
Axne is 6 feet (1.83 m) tall. She is of the same height as her former fellow House Democrat Lori Trahan.
A former West Des Moines Valley basketball player who stands six feet tall...
The 6-foot Trahan easily stood out.