Abby comes from a working class family in Dubuque County. Her father is a retired 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, and her grandfathers — her mother’s father who served as Lieutenant in the Dubuque Fire Department, and her father’s father who earned a Purple Heart serving our country in World War II. 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.”
In 2014, Abby was elected to represent Dubuque in the Iowa Legislature, and in 2018 became the youngest woman ever to flip a congressional seat when she was elected to represent Iowa’s first district. Abby is 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 opposed massive corporate giveaways to out-of-state companies, fought to make high-quality healthcare available to all Iowans and supported high-quality education for all students.
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 like many Americans she’s still paying off her over $15,000 in student loans. She is committed to making our state a place where everyone in every community can work hard, get a good education, and live a good life.
After college, Abby worked at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque in partnership with Jackson, Jones, Delaware, Clayton, and Allamakee county affiliate foundations and served on the board of Greater Dubuque Development Corporation. She received the 2017 “Rising Star Award” from the Democratic Activist Women’s Network (DAWN’s List), after being nominated by former Iowa Senate President Pam Jochum.