Abby Finkenauer Wins Democratic Primary In Iowa's 1st Congressional District

Jun 5, 2018

Democrat Abby Finkenauer will face the Republican incumbent Congressman Rod Blum in the general election in November, after beating out three other Democratic challengers. 

Abby Finkenaur addresses supporters in Dubuque after being declared the Democratic nominee in the race for Iowa's 1st Congressional District.
Credit Kate Payne / IPR

Finkenauer, a 28 year old two-term state representative, said she's already gearing up for general election fight. Addressing supporters in a bar in downtown Dubuque Tuesday night, she said she has what it takes turn Iowa's most competitive congressional district blue.

“So tonight let’s celebrate! And tomorrow, let’s roll up our sleeves and take back our state and our country!” she said to cheering supporters.

The path for Democrats to take back control of the U.S. House runs through distircts like Iowa's 1st. Multiple national analyses label this district a battleground and Roll Call recently named Congressman Rod Blum the most vulnerable incumbent in the House. 

And heavyweights in the Democratic Party are already lining up to help Finkenauer unseat him, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Emily’s List and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

But celebrating with supporters as the results came in, Finkenaur said party affiliation isn’t everything.

“2018, and you’ve heard me say this before, but I firmly believe it, is not going to come down to whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican," she said. "It’s going to come down to whether you care about people or do you not.”

In order to flip Iowa’s most competitive congressional district, Finkenauer may need to do more than unite Democrats. That’s because non-party affiliated voters outnumber both Democrats and Republicans in this district, which supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.