Cindy Axne victory ‘proved tonight we’re not a red state,’ Iowa Democrat says
“It’s been a great night for Democrats,” said Polk County Treasurer Mary Maloney. “We kinda woke up after two years ago, and we proved tonight we’re not a red state.”
At the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Des Moines, a standing room only crowd of several hundred voters whistled, toasted and hugged as Axne became the first of two Iowa women Tuesday to unseat incumbents.
The other was Dubuque native Abby Finkenauer, who defeated U.S. Rep. Rod Blum in the 1st Congressional District.
For many of Axne’s supporters, it was a decisive shift in a state where President Donald Trump won by a 10-point lead just two years prior.
“It’s proof Iowa still has some common sense,” said Kevin Conlan, a shuttle bus driver who lives on the west side of Des Moines.
Conlan said he “kind of liked” Young when he was first elected, “but he hasn’t stood for anything since.”
Axne had a strong showing in Polk County, home of Des Moines and the district’s largest county.
For Toni Urban, a south of Grand retiree, Axne’s win was also a victory over negativity reflected starkly in advertising on television and social media just before the election.
Urban said she spoke with Young at a recent memorial service in Des Moines, and urged him to take back to Congress the service’s message of love and respect.
“There’s just no reason for the level of disrespect and the lies we’ve been seeing,” she said.