DES MOINES, Iowa — Four years ago, Cindy Axne made history. But after two terms as one of the first women elected to Congress in the state’s history, she conceded defeat Wednesday afternoon. Her loss marked a brutal election for Democrats in prominent races in Iowa.

(Image from Iowa secretary of state’s results page).

Zach Nunn, the Republican state senator from Bondurant, defeated Axne by 2,153 votes. Since the margin was less than one percent, it would have afforded Axne the right to request a recount. But she decided not to pursue that option given the difficulty of finding enough errors to overcome the difference.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Axne released this statement, which included a challenge for Nunn:

“I am honored and humbled by the support I received over the last five years from the people in Iowa’s Third Congressional District. Even though the numbers weren’t in our favor this year, I encourage you all to continue to have the hard conversations with your friends and your neighbors about the issues that matter the most to you. Representing Iowa’s Third Congressional District has been one of the best opportunities of my life and I hope Zach Nunn understands the responsibility of this office and will continue my hard work to uplift Iowans’ voices in Washington D.C.”

Nunn released a statement regarding his victory.

“From Day 1, we’ve been a grassroots team of Iowans from all over the district ready to bring our Iowa values to D.C. We’re humbled and honored to have won our mission and are ready to bring change to our country,” said Congressman-Elect Zach Nunn. “We didn’t get into this race to win, we got into this race to serve – and after hearing directly from Iowans the last few months it’s clear we need to hit the ground running. Next year in Congress, top priorities will be to fix our economy, end the record high inflation and massive government spending, and get our country back on track. We will work to secure our border, gain energy independence again, strengthen national security, and protect the freedoms given to us in the Constitution. It’s clear that Iowans have had enough of divisive, corrupt and power grabbing politicians – with our win, we’re looking forward to serving Iowans and continuing to put service over self.”
Second District U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson–who won her second term Tuesday after becoming the first Republican elected to the house two years ago–released a statement about Axne’s defeat:

“Earlier today, I reached out to Congresswoman Cindy Axne to thank her for her service to the state of Iowa. We found common ground to advocate for Iowa veterans, rural health care providers, and farmers, and I appreciated her willingness to work across the aisle. I wish Cindy and her family all the best as they move forward.”