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 57)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)John Axne
EducationUniversity of Iowa (BA)
Northwestern University (MBA)
WebsiteHouse website

Cynthia Lynne Axne (/ˈæ;[1] née Wadle; born 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 election. The district is anchored in the state capital, Des Moines; it includes much of the state's southwest quadrant, including Council Bluffs. Following the defeat of Abby Finkenauer and the retirement of Dave Loebsack from Congress, Axne became the sole Democrat in Iowa's delegation in 2021. She is the dean of Iowa's House delegation.

Early life and career

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 to 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


See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa § District 3

In 2018, Axne ran for the United States House of Representatives in Iowa's 3rd congressional district.[4][5] She won the Democratic primary election with 57.91% of the vote[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa § District 3

In 2020, Axne won the Democratic primary virtually unopposed, facing only write-in candidates.[9] She then defeated David Young in a rematch in the general election, with 48.9% of the vote to Young's 47.6%.[10]

See also: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa § District 3

Axne is running for reelection in 2022.[11]


Axne took office during the 2018–2019 United States federal government shutdown and requested that her pay be withheld until the shutdown ended.[12] 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.[13]

As of March 2022, Axne had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[14]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Cindy Axne speaking to 2019 Women's March attendees in the rotunda of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines
Cindy Axne speaking to 2019 Women's March attendees in the rotunda of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines
2018 Iowa 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary[16]
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
2018 Iowa 3rd Congressional District General Election
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
2020 Iowa 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Axne (incumbent) 76,681 99.2
N/A Write-ins 623 0.8
Total votes 77,304 100.0
2020 Iowa 3rd Congressional District General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Axne (incumbent) 219,205 48.9
Republican David Young 212,997 47.6
Libertarian Bryan Jack Holder 15,361 3.4
N/A Write-ins 384 0.1
Total votes 447,947 100.0


In September 2021, Axne was accused of failing to disclose up to $645,000 in stock trades.[18] 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.[19]

Personal life

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

Axne is 6 feet (1.83 m) tall.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Axne, Cindy [@axne4congress] (September 16, 2020). "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" (Tweet). Retrieved September 17, 2020 – via Twitter.
  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. June 5, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "Iowa voters elect female governor, 2 female U.S. representatives, record number of female lawmakers". Des Moines Register. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "IA District 03". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  9. ^ "Primary Election - 2020 CANVASS SUMMARY" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  10. ^ "General Election - 2020 Canvass Summary" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State.
  11. ^ "Cindy Axne will run for reelection in Congress, closing the door on Iowa gubernatorial bid". The Des Moines Register.
  12. ^ Peterson, Mike (January 11, 2019). "Axne axes salary during shutdown". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  13. ^ Peterson, Mike (January 30, 2019). "Axne pushes government shutdown ban bill". Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  14. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  15. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "June 5, 2018 Primary Election". Iowa Secretary of State. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "Primary Election June 2, 2020 | United States Representative District 3 – Democratic". Iowa Secretary of State.
  18. ^ "U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne failed to disclose up to $645k in stock trades, government watchdog says". The Des Moines Register.
  19. ^ "Financial Services dem Buys and Sells Finance Stocks".
  20. ^ "Cindy Axne tells how she fought off would-be rapist in speech to Des Moines business leaders". The Des Moines Register. October 2, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2020. A former West Des Moines Valley basketball player who stands six feet tall...