Her future House colleague Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) — who recently unseated two-term Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA) in Cedar Rapids’ 1st congressional district — is only nine months older, but she’s just as relatable.
If you aren’t already feeling old, let’s just get it all out of the way now.
Finkenauer was born in December 1988 — five days before the calendar flipped to 1989 — graduated from college in 2011, and was first elected to the Iowa state House in 2014 at the age of 25.
Former Vice President Joe Biden couldn’t believe it, either.
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) September 17, 2014
Finkenauer will turn 30 in around two weeks, and be sworn in as a congresswoman seven days later. She will join Rep.-elect Cindy Axne (D-IA) — who unseated two-term Rep. David Young (R-IA) in Des Moines’ 3rd congressional district last month — as the first women to represent Iowa in the House.
— Cindy Axne (@Axne4Congress) November 14, 2018
Get ready to visit! We have offices! The first Congresswomen from Iowa will both be in the Cannon House office building! I’ll be in 124, @Axne4Congress will be in 330. Move in date: January 3rd 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/pqrFy2BVp8
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) November 30, 2018
Despite her meteoric rise, the Iowa Democrat doesn’t come from a politically-connected family. Her mother is a public school employee and her father is a welder, so Finkenauer is a “#prouduniondaughter.”
Not sure about all Dads, but I’m definitely MY Dad’s Democrat … fun story: Night of the election before I went to speak, Dad went to change. He didn’t come out in a suit, but a sweatshirt w/ largest @UAPipeTrades logo he could find. 🙌🏼 #prouduniondaughter https://t.co/FD6FdgVD9k
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) December 3, 2018
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) October 28, 2017
Though her family “was mostly non-political,” the congresswoman-elect credits a Newsweek subscription at the age of 10 for developing her interest in politics, which led to debating her conservative uncle — a lawyer — during dinner.
“I learned at a very early age that even as a young girl I had every right to be at the table with grown men. It gave me the idea that my opinion mattered.”
Finkenauer struggles to find time for grocery shopping like many of us.
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) November 21, 2018
She’s got jokes about co-workers.
She has also been required to endure awkward social situations by her former high school.
I was out knocking today around Hempstead High School, where I graduated. Great day! pic.twitter.com/KPZcQYqd8n
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) March 24, 2014
Finkenauer even delivered Thanksgiving meals to some of her soon-to-be constituents last month.
Honored to have spent Thanksgiving morning with my good friend Jim & family delivering meals and meeting folks across Cedar Rapids. This was around Jim’s 20th year and grateful to have been invited for the family tradition! Happy Thanksgiving!!!🦃🍁🍽 pic.twitter.com/hs7m8kv229
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) November 22, 2018
But underestimate the Iowa Democrat as “Midwest nice” at your own risk.
let's never forget this support of a racist ignorant misogynist for POTUS. Vote @pattyforiowa. Clearly.
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) August 10, 2016
So @realDonaldTrump came back to Iowa, asked, “Who the hell is Abby Finkenauer?”, and then attacked me. I’ll tell you who I am: I’m an Iowan who loves her state and her country and who stands up to anyone who hurts us. #ia01 https://t.co/8uHPpx0H3Z
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) October 10, 2018
. @VP Do not come to my home & continue to insult my family & neighbors. This is a lie. Flat out. Our soybean farmers and pork producers are together projected to lose $1 BILLION this year alone due to administration’s trade war started on Twitter. Where’s Blum’s backbone? #IA01 https://t.co/YklddapaoH
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) July 11, 2018
Steve King is a national embarrassment and a disgrace. It’s past time that all Iowans, including members of his own party, take a stand against his bigotry and hate. We need to do everything we can to elect @Scholten4Iowa in 5 days. #IA04 #IA01
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) November 1, 2018
After announcing her intention to challenge Blum last year, Finkenauer relentlessly hammered the Republican congressman over his support of President Donald Trump — whose agenda Blum backed 92 percent of the time.
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) April 25, 2017
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) October 29, 2017
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) May 25, 2017
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) May 19, 2017
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) May 11, 2017
The Democrat also focused on Trump’s trade wars, Medicaid expansion, the GOP tax bill, student debt, and immigration during her successful congressional campaign.
My godson Jordy out with my sister & brother in law (corn & soybean farmers) last night checking crops on the gator. Yes. He is snuggling w/ a piece of corn🌽 💙. So many reasons this race is personal, this little guy is one reason Trump’s Twitter trade war is too… #Ia01 pic.twitter.com/fvdT8Aul5I
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) July 30, 2018
Each of the 5 leading causes of death in the US is higher in rural areas. Not expanding Medicaid, Medicaid privatization & lack of providers all to blame. Millions of lives are on the line. This is why we must #TakeItBack. #ia01 https://t.co/QJTntzcq5X
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) February 9, 2018
It’s mind blowing that you can’t refinance your student loans the way you can a mortgage. More people who are actually paying off student loans should be at the table making the decisions. #ia01 https://t.co/8urqPTFOnd
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) November 2, 2018
Democrats & Republicans need to stop playing politics with immigration. Abby will work to secure our borders, implement an earned pathway to citizenship, renew DACA & make E-Verify mandatory. #IA01Debate
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) October 16, 2018
View this post on Instagram
Joining friends across Iowa and our country with the message that yes, “Families Belong Together.” It’s time we bring back common sense, decency, and compassion to Washington. Babies and families do not belong in cages. We are paying attention. #takeitback #ia01 #familiesbelongtogether
Finkenauer has been a staunch supporter of reproductive rights, clean energy, gun control, pay equality, workers’ rights, and education reform in the Iowa state House.
"We asked for respect for women. We were met with contempt." Late last night Iowa passed an unconstitutional 6-week abortion ban, a GOP plot to challenge Roe v Wade. I fought back & need your support to take this voice to Congress. https://t.co/DP72ae3Sav pic.twitter.com/VNWeoQg3Ng
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) May 2, 2018
It’s 5:15 am. Democrats in the Iowa House just fought all night against the GOP bill that gutted energy efficiency programs in our state and went after solar. We need to win in November. Our state, country, environment and working families in our state depend on it. pic.twitter.com/7hUofO65t9
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) April 27, 2018
View this post on Instagram
"Logically having a 3 year old hold or shoot a handgun does not make sense. Logically, this bill is completely ridiculous." — earlier today when I was a No vote on a bill that would allow children under the age of 14 in the state of Iowa to hold or shoot a handgun or pistol
View this post on Instagram
Letting Republican's know that white men in Iowa could retire 33 years before a Latina women doing the EXACT SAME work. Read more about this long day (ending around midnight) fighting for working families in Iowa http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/iowa-legislature-putting-together-735-billion-budget-20160418
View this post on Instagram
Around 7 AM one of the worst legislative sessions for Iowa families, finally came to a close. Walking out this morning I thought about how different I felt walking out after my first adjournment in the House when I was a Page at 18. I was so excited to be starting my adult life in Iowa after picking to stay in Iowa for college, and how I knew Iowa was a place that would put value in my future and be a place of equality and respect. We raised the minimum wage that session and added sexual orientation to Iowa Civil Rights Act, just to name a few things which absolutely changed Iowa for the better. This year, walking out, I'm reminded about how quickly progress hard fought can be taken away. 4 months. That's all it was and yet that's all it took to gut workers rights for 180,000 Iowans, lower wages, pass provisions making it harder for every hard working Iowan who gets hurt on the job to receive fair compensation, restrict a woman's right to her own health care choices as well as gut funding making it harder for men and women to receive family planning services, and underfund our education system from K-12 to community colleges and our public universities – again, just to name a few. On that note, this eastern Iowa girl doesn't forget when you mess with the lives of her friends, family and neighbors. Although we all may need some rest now after 24 hrs straight at the Capitol, tomorrow we get back up and I promise you, this fight for Iowa is only getting started. 💪🏻
Video of my first speech on the floor of the IA House: "Our children deserve better than 40th in the nation" https://t.co/8KB0s5NHNn
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) January 28, 2015
Finkenauer was recently elected vice chair of the Future Forum Caucus, a group of young Democrats “who are focused on issues and opportunities for millennial Americans.”
Happy to announce I was elected Vice-Chair of the Future Forum Caucus (young D members of Congress) along w/ @RepJimmyGomez & @DelgadoforNY19 ! Excited to join our Chairwoman @RepStephMurphy as we work to bring hope and opportunities for growth across generations. #ia01 pic.twitter.com/l63AnrLkVw
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) December 6, 2018
The congresswoman-elect credits her successful 2014 campaign for helping her grow as a person.
“You learn who you are and who you’re not really quickly. When you’re young you’re still figuring things out. The campaign put me on a fast-track on figuring out who I am as an Iowan, a woman, and now as a legislator.”
Finkenauer says her father’s union welding job put her on the path to public office, as she explained in this 2015 speech shortly before joining the Iowa state House.
The then-25-year-old former congressional page sent this tweet about Capitol Hill in 2014.
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) January 29, 2014
Less than five years later, the Iowa Democrat is set to take her own seat in Congress.
Just walked onto the floor of the US House of Representatives for the first time as a member-elect. I sat there in gratitude and respect for my home, my state, my district and the work that lies ahead. I walked out looking up to that quote. Fitting. So much hope. Ready to serve. pic.twitter.com/mhkvk73t74
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) November 14, 2018