Yesterday, Cindy Axne launched her first ad of the cycle, attacking Zach Nunn for a baseless claim exploiting a local tragedy.

Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D- IA)

Last summer, a child died at Des Moines’ Adventureland amusement park. Axne’s ad tries to tie this tragedy to an unrelated bipartisan bill that overwhelmingly passed the Iowa House and Senate.

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HF 588 allowed qualified and trained 16 and 17-year-olds to operate rides, giving Iowa’s youth more economic opportunity over their summer breaks. This bill was also supported by Axne’s own State Party Chair Ross Wilburn and Democrat Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst. However, neither of them has made any statement regarding the ad accusing them of murder.

Axne tried to use this bill to exploit the tragedy of a child’s death by saying the bipartisan bill caused the death to happen. Despite Axne’s claim, it has been widely reported that the ride operators at the time were both over 18.

Zach Nunn’s campaign manager called the ad “Dishonest. Deceitful. Dishonorable.”

“Cindy Axne is desperate and despicable. Trying to leverage the tragic death of a child for her own political gain is outrageous, but I guess we should expect that from Nancy Pelosi’s favorite member of Congress,” said Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann.

This ad comes just a week after Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Cook Political Report changed the rating of the IA-03 race from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Republican. “Cindy must be desperate if she’s hurling lies and slamming her own party’s votes,” Kaufmann continued in his statement.