GOP candidates seek to sweep Iowa’s 4 seats in the US House
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Republicans were trying Tuesday to sweep Iowa’s four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, pushing to oust a Democratic incumbent as two first-term GOP congresswomen won reelection in competitive races.
If their narrow lead in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional district holds, it would be the first time since 1994 that Republicans would win every seat in Iowa’s House delegation. They were seeking to capitalize on a conservative electorate unhappy with Democrat Joe Biden’s performance as president, the direction of the economy and rising costs tied to inflation.
In a closely watched race nationally, GOP state Sen. Zach Nunn was trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne in a district that includes Des Moines and its suburbs. Nunn had a narrow lead late Tuesday in an extremely tight race.
Nunn, 43 and of Bondurant, has lifelong ties to the district, having grown up in Altoona and represented parts of it in the Iowa House and Senate. He campaigned as a conservative with military combat experience, having deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, flying missions in the U.S. Air Force.
Close races are nothing new for Axne. She won her two prior campaigns by razor-thin margins, unseating David Young in 2018 by 7,709 votes and defeating him by 6,208 votes in a 2020 rematch. Unlike those years, Tuesday’s ballot did not feature a Libertarian Party candidate whose presence may have helped her win without earning 50 percent of the vote.
In southeastern Iowa, GOP U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks won a second term in the House after winning by just six votes in 2020, in the closest congressional race in decades. She defeated Democratic state Rep. Christina Bohannan, a University of Iowa law professor, who told supporters that she knew from the beginning of the race that it would be a difficult political environment this year.
Miller-Meeks had a substantial lead in the race, a far cry from her tiny vote margin when she won in 2020. That win followed a lengthy recount and after Democrat Rita Hart abandoned a House challenge to the state-certified results.
Miller-Meeks told supporters in Davenport on Tuesday it felt better to win by a larger margin and vowed to work with her Republican colleagues next year to address voters’ concerns.
“Right now our country is heading in the wrong direction, and many Americans are struggling,” she said.
In northeastern Iowa, Republican U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson fended off a challenge from Democratic state Sen. Liz Mathis after a hard-fought race between two former television news anchors.
Hinson thanked supporters at a party in Cedar Rapids, calling the results a decisive victory over those who are “hell-bent on transforming our country.”
“In Iowa, we do it right. We spend wisely, we support our police, we respect our parents and our families, and we believe in the promise of America,” she said.
In the final district in a heavily Republican area of rural western Iowa, GOP Rep. Randy Feenstra cruised to reelection over Democrat Ryan Melton on Tuesday.
The results continue Iowa’s decade-long move from the center to the right, as many voters in rural areas and without college degrees abandon the Democratic Party.
Follow the AP’s coverage of the midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play.