Iowa's 1st Congressional District: Young Democrat takes aim at Freedom Caucus member

PHOTO: Democratic candidate Abby Finkenauer stands for a portrait in Dubuque, Iowa on June 4, 2018.PlayThe Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE
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Iowa and politics go hand-in-hand, so it’s not a surprise that the race between Republican Rep. Rod Blum and Democratic State Rep. Abby Finkenauer for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District -- which voted for Barack Obama twice, but Trump in 2016 -- is gaining national attention.

Blum, a former software company entrepreneur, is a two-term congressman and a member of the House Freedom Caucus. A supporter of the president, he ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

PHOTO: Rep. Rod Blum participates in a round table discussion at Northeast Iowa Community College, July 26, 2018 in Peosta, Iowa.Scott Olson/Getty Images
Rep. Rod Blum participates in a round table discussion at Northeast Iowa Community College, July 26, 2018 in Peosta, Iowa.

Finkenauer, a two-term state representative, beat out three other Democratic challengers by a wide margin in the primary. She’s also picked up a number of big endorsements from NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List, and could be another example of the "pink wave" sweeping the midterms.

A battle of the vice presidents is setting up as well with Pence visiting the district earlier this month to campaign for Blum and former Vice President Joe Biden having endorsed Finkenauer, who served as the volunteer coordinator in Iowa for his 2008 presidential campaign.

Blum has challenged Finkenauer to a series of 12 debates. In a statement to ABC News, Finkenauer said she "looks forward to debating the important issues at stake in this election" and "intend[s] to spend the coming weeks establishing a debate schedule that ... gives voters the opportunity to hear from both candidates."

Republican candidate

  • Rep. Rod Blum: Two-term congressman, member of the House Freedom Caucus. Serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House Small Business Committee, and as chairman of the subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade. | Age: 63 (April 26, 1955)
  • Democratic candidate

  • State Rep. Abby Finkenauer: Two-term state representative, served as the State of Iowa’s Volunteers Coordinator for Biden’s presidential campaign in 2008 | Age: 29 (December 27, 1988)
  • 18 For 18’ is ABC News’ powerhouse political coverage of the 2018 midterm elections. To stay up to date, visit ABCNews.com, the ABC News app, and follow our midterm elections alerts.

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