Zach Nunn defeated Nicole Hasso and Gary Leffler in the Republican primary for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District on June 7, 2022. With more than 95% of precincts reporting, Nunn had received 66% of the vote to Hasso’s 19% and Leffler’s 15%.
Heading into the primary, Nunn and Hasso led in endorsements and fundraising. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), and Americans for Prosperity Action endorsed Nunn. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) endorsed Hasso. Nunn and Hasso both reported six-figure fundraising to the Federal Elections Commission, while Leffler did not report any contributions.
Nunn, an Iowa state senator and Air Force veteran, said he is running for Congress to “stand up for our brave men and women in uniform, fight for safe neighborhoods and to secure our border.” According to KCCI‘s Amanda Rooker, “[Nunn] says his mission is to strengthen the economy and national defense.”
Hasso, a financial services professional, said she ran “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.” Rooker wrote, “[Hasso said] her top priorities are tackling inflation and securing the border.”
Democratic incumbent Cindy Axne was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, defeating incumbent David Young (R) 49.3%-47.1%. In a 2020 rematch, Axne defeated Young 48.9% to 47.5%.
As of May 31, major independent observers rated the general election as a toss-up. After Nunn won the Republican primary, Dave Wasserman—U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report—and Kyle Kondik—managing editor of Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball—tweeted that their publications would change the rating of the general election in Iowa’s 3rd District from toss-up to lean Republican.
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.