Cindy Axne. (photo from Axne’s office.)

Congresswoman Cindy Axne remains noncommittal on her political future, despite the legislature’s recent approval of new legislative and congressional boundaries based on 2020 Census figures.

Under the maps approved in last week’s special session, parts of Iowa’s new 3rd Congressional District cover counties located in the existing 2nd District, which is served by Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Axne expresses confidence in the redistricting process.

“I’m certainly glad that we completed the redistricting in a fashion that is in accordance with how Iowa operates,” Axne says. “It’s why I fought last year, when we moved to get H.R. 1 through the big voting rights bill, to make sure Iowa could retain its redistricting status — because it’s one of the gold standards. So, I was happy to see us maintain that.”

Axne was asked whether she intends to run for reelection in the new 3rd district and face a potential showdown with Miller-Meeks. “Here’s the deal: I went to sleep in the 3rd district, and woke up the next day in the 3rd district,” Axne says. “So, we’re going to have to ask Mariannette Miller-Meeks what her plans are.” There is speculation Miller-Meeks may move into the new 1st Congressional District as there is no incumbent there. Meanwhile, Axne may also be considering challenging Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, or Republican Governor Kim Reynolds. Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, lamented the loss of counties along Iowa’s western border, which were placed in the new 4th Congressional District, currently served by Republican Congressman Randy Feenstra.

“Sad to see some of the counties I’ve grown to love so much,” Axne says, “and have been there for them, and they’ve been there for me, like Mills County and Fremont (County), and the issues with Pottawattamie County, of course, with flooding. I’ll be sad to not be able represent those folks down the road. But, I hope to continue to win and stand up for Iowa.” While declining to announce her intentions for 2022, the congresswoman adds, “an answer is coming soon.”

“My important goal is finishing this legislation in Congress,” she says. “We’ve been working nonstop on it. The decision will come very soon, but this week, once again, is dedicated to getting these big bills through.” Feenstra, from Hull, lives in the new fourth district and has announced he is seeking reelection. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, announced in August that she intends to seek a second term in the House as well. Last month, Hinson announced she’ll run in the new 2nd district, where she lives.

(By Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah)