Iowa Democrats are targeting two Republican congressmen this fall, and they chose two women as their nominees in the 1st and 3rd districts in Tuesday’s primaries. No woman has ever been elected to the House from the Hawkeye State.
President Donald Trump carried both districts in 2016, but Democrats believe a favorable national environment and strong challengers could make these Republicans vulnerable.
She topped a four-candidate field with 67 percent of the vote, easily avoiding a runoff at the state party convention next week. Former Obama administration official Thomas Heckroth was a distant second with 19 percent.
Finkenauer was endorsed by EMILY’s List, which backs female candidates who support abortion rights. She was also on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue program for strong challengers. She outraised Blum in both the last fundraising quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.
But Blum does have an advantage in cash on hand with nearly $1.4 million in his campaign coffers as of May 16, the end of the pre-primary filing period. Finkenauer had $496,000 in the bank.
Watch: Iowa’s Blum Now Most Vulnerable House Member, Nelson Moves Up List for Senate
Small-business owner Cindy Axne won the Democratic primary to challenge two-term GOP Rep. David Young in the 3rd District.
She also avoided a runoff, taking 58 percent of the vote and outpacing her nearest challenger, insurance broker Eddie Mauro, who had 27 percent.
Axne was endorsed by EMILY’s List and benefited from $264,000 in spending by the group’s independent expenditure arm Women Vote! during the primary.
Trump carried the district by 3 points in 2016, after it backed Obama twice. Inside Elections rates the race Likely Republican.