In 2014, Abby was elected to represent Dubuque in the Iowa Legislature. In 2018, she became the youngest woman ever to flip a congressional seat when she was elected to represent Iowa’s first district. Abby has become known as a staunch defender of working families and a vocal advocate for women. As government and policy decisions have made it more difficult each year for working Iowans to get ahead, Abby has been on the front lines fighting back and making sure hardworking Iowans have a voice and a vote.
In the State House Abby led the fight for Iowa’s working families, small businesses and main streets. Never one to back down from a fight, she has opposed massive corporate giveaways to out of state companies, fought to make high-quality healthcare available to all Iowans and supported affordable education for all students.
Abby comes from a working class family in Dubuque County. Her father was a Union Pipefitter Welder, her mother worked for the Dubuque Community Schools. She learned the value of public service and giving back to the community from her family, particularly from her grandfather who was a Lieutenant in the Dubuque Fire Department. Politics and current events were always a topic of discussion when Abby was growing up, and her grandfather, father and uncles made sure she had a seat at the table as an equal. Her family taught her that when there is work to be done or a problem to solve you say “yes.”
Abby is the youngest of four siblings, all first-generation college graduates. She chose to stay in Iowa for college, earning her degree from Drake University, and although she still has over $15,000 in student loan debt she is committed to making our state a place where people of all ages can work hard, get a good education, and have a good life.
After college, she worked at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque with Jackson County, Jones County, Delaware County, Clayton County, and Allamakee County affiliate foundations. She formerly served on the board of Greater Dubuque Development Corporation. Recently, she received the 2017 “Rising Star Award” from the Democratic Activist Women’s Network (DAWN’s List), nominated by former President of the Iowa Senate, Senator Pam Jochum.
When considering running for Congress, Abby thought about her family and her friends in Dubuque and throughout the first district. She believes that hard work should be rewarded, and that affordable education and determination should give every family the chance to live their American dream here in Iowa. But too often, those who work hard and do the right things are taken advantage of by wealthy corporations and the politicians who protect them.