IA-03: Cindy Axne (D)
A fifth-generation Iowan, Axne grew up on the southside of Des Moines. Her childhood included weekends and summers spent on her maternal grandparents’ farm in Warren County, 4-H activities, and playing 6-on-6 basketball for the Valley High Tigers.
Following her graduation from the University of Iowa, she worked in strategic planning and leadership development for the Tribune Company in Chicago and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. She and her husband John later moved to Wisconsin, where they started their small business. When their sons were 3 and 1, they moved back to Iowa to raise their family in her hometown.
In 2007, when her older son started kindergarten, Axne learned that full-day kindergarten was not available to every child in West Des Moines public schools, with eligibility determined by a lottery. She spent the following academic year advocating and negotiating with principals, the school board and the superintendent. After nearly a year, her efforts paid off and full-day kindergarten was made available to all students in the district.
From 2005 to 2014, Axne worked for the State of Iowa. Since then, she has focused on growing the digital design firm she runs with her husband John.
Axne serves as a mentor with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa. She lives in West Des Moines with John and their teenage sons.
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