Nicole Hasso, Gary Leffler, and Zach Nunn are running in the Republican primary for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District on June 7, 2022. Hasso and Nunn lead in endorsements and fundraising.
According to the Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel, “It’s been a relatively low-key primary race ahead of what is expected to be one of the hottest general election contests in the country. The three Republicans have been quietly campaigning across the newly configured 3rd Congressional District and raising money, preferring to focus their ire on [Democratic incumbent Cindy Axne] than each other.”
Hasso, a financial services professional, said she is running “to support our police, protect innocent life, defend our right to keep and bear arms, fight for lower taxes, smaller government, and better opportunities for all Americans.” According to KCCI’s Amanda Rooker, “[Hasso] says her top priorities are tackling inflation and securing the border.” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) endorsed Hasso in August 2021, calling her an “outsider who will take on the Washington swamp and will help fight back against the left’s extremist agenda.”
Nunn is an Iowa state senator and Air Force veteran who owns a marketing business and commands an intelligence squadron in the Iowa Air National Guard. Nunn said he is running to “stand up for our brave men and women in uniform, fight for safe neighborhoods and to secure our border.” According to Rooker, “[Nunn] says his mission is to strengthen the economy and national defense.” Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), and Americans for Prosperity Action endorsed Nunn. Crenshaw said, “I’m supporting Zach because I know that he’ll continue to defend our freedom and liberties as we both have done on the battlefield and now in public service.”
Axne was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, defeating incumbent David Young (R) 49%-47%. In a 2020 rematch, Axne won re-election with 49% of the vote to Young’s 48%.
Major independent observers rated the general election as a toss-up. After redistricting, Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District gained nine counties that voted for former President Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 election. The district voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.