Voters elect Iowa's first and second female members to U.S. House of Representatives in Midterm elections
Election night was a night that featured big wins for women in Iowa, including the first time Iowa voters elected a woman to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Democrat Abby Finkenauer defeated incumbent Republican Rod Blum to become the new representative for Iowa's first congressional district. Finkenauer received 51-percent of the vote while Blum got 46-percent.
Cindy Axne, a Democrat from the state's third congressional district, claimed the seat from incumbent Republican David Young by a much slimmer margin. Axne received 49-percent of the vote, while Young received 48-percent. About 5,000 votes divided the two candidates.
Both Axne and Finkenauer said their first priority is to build a team around them.
For the female Democrats, when it comes to accomplishing their goals, the proof is in the votes they received.
Finkenauer said the moment she walked into 7 Hills Brewing Company, she was humbled.
"I was just so, so grateful getting to see all those folks," Finkenauer said. "I had no idea the room was going to look like that."
One day removed from Finkenauer learning she will become the first Congresswoman in Iowa's First District, she called it "the honor of her life." She said this election proves hard work is in the forefront of success, regardless of political position or job,
"If you care about your community, you care about something, you work hard, and you have good folks around you, you can get something done," Finkenauer said.
Before last night, a woman had never represented the state of Iowa in Congress. As of January 3rd, Iowa will have two: Finkenauer and third-district Congresswoman-elect Axne. Between then and now, their priorities are similar.
"We need to make sure that we've got the right team in place to serve Iowans, set up our offices, ensure that we're reaching out to as many people as we can, making sure that I get around the district," Axne said. "I want to follow in the footsteps of David Young and make sure that I visit every county every single month. And so we've got a plan for that and then make sure that I'm just fully versed on the issues so when I get out to Washington I can hit the ground running."
Finkenauer echoed Axne in her interview with TV9 Wednesday.
"Putting together a great staff here on the ground and making sure that we've got folks that constituents can go to, we can get things done- that's my job," Finkenauer said. "I completely understand I didn't earn every single vote in this district, and that my job is to make sure that regardless of who anybody voted for, that they know I am their representative and I am there to work for them."
Finkenauer sent a message to younger people who might be inspired by her accomplishments, either in politics or outside of it.
"When you're doing it for the right reasons and you care about people, then that's what you should be doing," Finkenauer said.