The Perry Area Democrats hosted a meet and greet at the Perry Public Library for Cindy Axne, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Iowa’s 3rd District. A Des Moines native and fifth-generation Iowan, Axne spoke about her desire to give back to Iowan’s throughout the duration of her event.

“I’m not going to stop until I get the job done and that’s why I’m running for Congress,” Axne said. “There’s nobody in Washington that’s looking out for our corner of Iowa.”

“I want to go to Washington to make sure you all have a voice at the table.”

A previous small-business owner, Axne hopes to focus on bettering the economy as well as assisting to families.

“I think that starts by rebuilding our middle class and investing in our future,” Axne said. “I want to bring good paying jobs back here to Iowa, jobs that a family can be supported on and make sure that we have the measures in place so that working women and families can be successful.”

Axne also touched on other issues: affordable health care for all, protecting public schools, protecting Iowa’s farms and rural communities, renewable energy, and climate change.

During the question session, Axne asked how she would counter those who say Iowa is heading in the right path under the current Republican direction.

“We might have low unemployment, but we have a lot of people who are in jobs that don’t pay well at all. We have high levels of people who don’t have insurance or are under-insured because they can’t afford what’s available here, and we definitely know that we’ve got major issues here with our Medicaid, of course with our mental health system, and quite honestly, our schools,” Axne said. “Our schools have plummeted as far as where we rank in this country.”

“We are not retaining our kids here, we are not creating enough jobs for those kids that pay well, and we also have companies who can’t get good-skilled workers because we’re not training them in some of those growth areas.”

Running for Congress has been the most humbling experience of her life, Axne says.

“We’ve been called the hardest working campaign out there,” Axne said. “We have been to every county multiple times. This is our 70th meet and greet [and] we have had meet and greets in 13 of the 16 counties.”