DES MOINES, Iowa – Republicans are poised to win three out of Iowa’s four Congressional races after State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, unseats Democrat incumbent Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. State Senator Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, cruised to an easy victory over Democrat nominee J.D. Scholten in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, won her rematch with former Congressman David Young whom she defeated in 2018 in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Ottumwa, currently leads former State Senator Rita Hart, D-Wheatland, in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.
Iowa’s 1st Congressional District
Hinson defeated Finkenauer 51.3 percent (211,573) to 48.6 percent (200,814) in a race that was considered a toss-up.
“I am honored to be the Congresswoman elect for Iowa’s first district. Tonight we sent a message, the chaos and dysfunction we see in Washington is unacceptable to Iowans and voters expect more. I want to thank Abby Finkenauer and her team for their service to the state of Iowa and to our communities. Running for office isn’t easy for anyone, regardless of party and I know how hard it is to step up to run and put your name on the ballot. This was a hard fought campaign and I know that Congresswoman Finkenauer’s service to the state of Iowa is not yet over,” Hinson said during her victory speech.
“In Congress, I will always remember that the hard-working taxpayers are the folks that elected me, and they are my bosses. I’m ready to get to work for Iowans and tackle the issues that really matter to Iowa families — reforming our broken healthcare system, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, securing our border, and putting money back in the pockets of hard-working Iowans,” she said. “This is the honor of my life and I look forward to serving you in Congress. God Bless.”
Update: Finkenauer has conceded the race. She released the following statement:
“Today I called Rep. Hinson to offer my congratulations and concession in the race for Iowa’s First Congressional District. While it’s important to review all available election data and ensure every vote is counted, I respect our democratic process and the will of the voters.
I love our state and our country, and I still believe in the promise of a democracy that represents and serves the interests of its constituents. We must never give up hope that we can be an Iowa and a country defined by compassion, empathy, grit and determination to get things done.
It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve Iowans in the statehouse and in Congress over these last six years. I’m thankful for the opportunity and trust Iowans have placed in me.
Much work remains in the weeks before the end of my congressional term, and I am committed to delivering for the people of the First District and the state of Iowa. The pandemic continues. Derecho recovery goes on. We have work to do and I intend to do it.
In addition, I look forward to working with Rep. Hinson on a transition that serves the people of northeast Iowa and ensures their needs are met.”
Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District
Miller Meeks currently leads Hart by 282 votes in a race that has not yet been called. Miller-Meeks has 50.0 percent (196,769) and Hart has 49.9 percent (196,487). There were 707 write-in votes.
Iowa does not have an automatic recount procedure, but a candidate can request it. If the margin of victory is fifty votes or one percent of the total number of votes cast (whichever is greater) the state will cover the cost of the recount, otherwise, the candidate has to pay. A partial recount can also be requested.
There also may be mail-in ballots yet to count, several thousand absentee ballots that were sent out have not yet been received (some of those voters may have decided to vote in person or not vote at all). Any absentee ballot that comes in postmarked no later than November 2nd can be counted.
Update: Miller-Meeks made the following statement:
“The official canvass will not take place until Monday and Tuesday when the 24 county election boards meet across the congressional district. Our campaign has received and tallied votes from every county auditor, double checked those totals and compared them with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. We are confident Dr. Miller-Meeks’ winning margin will stand. Questions about a recount are premature until county officials conduct their official canvasses next week.”
Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District
Axne defeated Young by fewer votes than her margin of victory in 2018. Axne won 48.9 percent (218,968) to 47.5 percent (212,727).
Young expressed gratitude in his concession speech during the Iowa GOP Election Night party in Des Moines.
“We’re good, right? We’re still alive. We’re alive and we’re kicking. You win some you lose some, you lose a few sometimes. But hey, it’s a great showing here. We have a great country. You know why? Because we have a good people. Right. And the best of them are Iowans, we know that for sure. I want to thank God for just giving me the ability to stand up here and do this. Because it ain’t easy. So thank you, Jesus,” he said.
Young also said he was unable to overcome Axne’s advantage in Polk County.
“We put together an all-star team. Nobody can outwork our team. We did it all. We had the ground game. We just couldn’t overtake Polk County. But that’s life. We’ll get through it. We left it all on the table,” he said.
Young also bragged about Iowa.
“Like I said, this country is great because our people are good. And the greatest of these are Iowans, of course. So there’s just something special about this state, right? I love being flyover country. People fly over it. That’s fine. There’s something so special about this place. If you’re fortunate, fortunate enough to land here. You know why you love it. Iowa’s people show great grace and grit. We are humble, yet we are very bold. We seek justice with such forgiving hearts. We love God, we fear him. We need him. We need each other, despite our differences. We are so much alike. So tomorrow’s a new day. The sun will go up. A tear may be shed tonight and the there’s gonna be a lot of laughter and smiles. And we will always be proud to be Iowans,” he said.
Axne gave a virtual victory speech.
“While it is too early to know exactly what our government will look like next January, it’s important to see these record levels of early voting and turnout as a message that we are ready to come together and fix the issues facing our nation,” Axne said. “Many of you know these issues yourself, and in turn joined our fight to make lives better in Iowa by volunteering your time on this campaign. To those folks, I have to say thank you.”
She also pointed to the divide that exists in our nation.
“Tomorrow, the sun will rise on a country still in turmoil – and it is up to all of us to sacrifice where we can so that we can endure as one nation. Over my past two years in office, I’ve spoke to Iowans all across this district and listened as they shared the issues that keep them up at night – the anxieties that leave them staring at their ceilings, unsure of the future ahead of them,” Axne said. “And as crises like the pandemic continue to ravage our state – we’re seeing the systemic issues that are keeping Iowans up at night further exposed as the priorities we need to stay focused on.”
Iowa 4th Congressional District
Feenstra, who upset incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve King in June’s Republican primary in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, easily defeated Scholten, 62 percent (236,852) to 37.8 percent (144,344).
“Tonight we deliver a victory for the people of Iowa in the Fourth District. Nearly two years ago, 22 months ago, I launched my campaign for Congress, because I believed Iowa in the Fourth District needed a seat at the table. They needed somebody with a proven effective conservative voice that could get things done and create results from the people in the fourth district in Congress,” Feenstra said during his victory speech.
He reiterated what he would strive to do in Congress.
“We must we need to balance our budget and get our debt under control so it doesn’t crush the American dream for this generation and the next generation. We need to fight for Iowa agriculture. So I want to make sure I secure a seat on the ag committee to ensure that we can expand ethanol; that we can make sure that our products can be brought around worldwide. We must ensure our rural main streets are places that can thrive. We all have grown up in rural Iowa and we must continue to see expansion have our main streets. Finally, we must protect the unborn. It’s unequivocal to me. We must protect the unborn. Together we’ll deliver these results for Iowa,” he added.
Scholten said he was proud of his campaign.
“Building trust takes time and standing up to the status quo and establishment is no easy feat. I’m incredibly proud of our grassroots campaign for showing up anywhere and everywhere to earn votes across the political spectrum. These past two months alone, we crisscrossed the district, traveling 7,786 miles to all 374 towns, stopping on farms, meeting with small business owners, and listening to stories from workers, seniors, students, and folks from all backgrounds. We’ve provided the roadmap going forward for the Democratic party’s ability to compete everywhere and the standard required for Iowa’s 4th district representative to show up, listen, and be held accountable by the people,” he said in a released statement.
“I’m forever grateful for everyone who has shared their personal stories with us, welcomed us into their business or farm, and donated a piece of their paycheck or their time to help us fight for change. I urge the countless Iowans who have found their voices advocating for causes important to them to not let this moment be the end of their advocacy and political engagement, but the beginning,” Scholten added.
He also gave a concession message to his supporters. Watch below: