‘We’re Fired Up and Ready To Go!’, Cindy Axne Part of Historic Group of Iowa Women

Cindy Axne (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa–Sleep for Cindy Axne would have to come later. Wednesday morning, only about three hours after her election night celebrating ended, the West Des Moines businesswoman started her first full day as Iowa Congresswoman-Elect.

“I finally got to bed around 2:30 this morning,” Axne said, “But didn’t sleep very much.”

Tuesday, Axne, a Democrat, defeated two-term Third District Congressman David Young, a Van Meter Republican, to become the first Iowa women elected to the U.S. House.

Technically, she has to share her historic first. Abbey Finkenauer, a two-term Democratic state legislator from Dubuque, will join her in Congress after defeating two-term First District Congressman, Rod Blum, a Cedar Rapids Republican.

"It's time women have a voice in elected positions and make sure we have diverse opinions when it comes to making decision," Axne said.

Axne and Finkenauer are part of a record number of Iowa women elected in Tuesday's mid-terms. Kim Reynolds, an Osceola Republican, became the first woman elected governor. Reynolds had already been serving in the position since last year after taking over for Terry Branstad when he became the U.S. Ambassador to China.

Women expanded their record presence in the Iowa legislature. The Iowa House expanded its number of female legislators to 34 after picking up 6 additional members Tuesday. And the Iowa Senate added 4 female lawmakers to its current group of 7.