DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After nearly a decade of declining support in Iowa, Democrats are hoping to capitalize on the primary results as the first step toward regaining some strength in what once was a swing state.
Among the nominees party voters selected Tuesday were two women to challenge Republican congressmen in what could be competitive fall campaigns as Democrats attempt to win back control of the U.S. House.
State Rep. Abby Finkenauer at 28 could become the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House.
However, it was wealthy businessman Fred Hubbell who will try for the state’s biggest prize — a chance for Democrats to wrest away the governor’s office from Republican Kim Reynolds.
The secretary of state’s office said more voters turned out than in any June primary in history.
Fred Hubbell succeeded in his first political effort, defeating four Democratic opponents for a chance to face Reynolds.
He easily cleared the 35 percent threshold needed to avoid a Democratic state convention. He defeated nurse and union local president Cathy Glasson of Coralville; physician and former party chairwoman Andy McGuire of Des Moines; aide to former Gov. Tom Vilsack and former Democratic Party state chairman John Norris of Des Moines; and former Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn.
Reynolds immediately criticized Hubbell, who comes from a wealthy Des Moines family, for providing millions of dollars to his own campaign. She’s a two-term lieutenant governor, who took the top job when Gov. Terry Branstad became ambassador to China.
A general election win by Reynolds would be the first time Iowa elected a woman as governor.
3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Cindy Axne won a three-way primary in the southwest corner of the state and could present a challenge to David Young. Axne defeated insurance company owner Eddie Mauro, and Des Moines political operative Pete D’Alessandro to take on Young in the 16-county district, which includes Council Bluffs and Des Moines, leans Republican in voter registration.