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Republican Zach Nunn’s campaign responded to Democrat Congresswoman Cindy Axne’s newest campaign ad — an attack ad against Nunn claiming that he is putting his own priorities over Iowans while accepting campaign contributions from a Chinese company.

Axne’s campaign criticized Nunn for accepting campaign cash from Syngenta PAC after it was purchased by “state-owned chemical company ChemChina.”

But Axne’s team did not acknowledge that in 2019, Axne toured Syngenta and credited the company for powering Iowa agriculture.

“While Cindy Axne is now attacking Syngenta, Axne toured Syngenta in West Des Moines for a photo op in November 2019,” Nunn’s campaign said. “Syngenta was acquired in 2017, before Axne’s photo-op tour. Cindy Axne even said Syngenta was ‘powering Iowa agriculture’ and attempted to gain their support.”

Axne’s campaign also hit Nunn for supporting a tax break that gave the company more than $1 million from Iowa taxpayers.

But Nunn wasn’t in the Iowa House that day to vote on the bill. Nunn’s campaign pointed out that while the bill passed the Iowa House on May 5, 2018, he was in Kosovo on a security cooperation mission and didn’t return until May 10, 2018.

Nunn’s campaign included a record of standing up to China, both militarily and legislatively.

Military: 

  • 2021 – Led Chinese counter-disinformation effort as Air Force Chief of Staff’s Fellow (awarded Meritorious Service Medal w/oak leaf cluster for protecting US/UK naval task force from Chinese CCP disinformation campaign).
  • 2013-2014 – ODNI, Chief of Operations, National Counterintelligence Officer – China Desk (Intelligence Service Medal).
  • 2011-2013 – National Security Council, Director of Cybersecurity – counter foreign intellectual property theft (President Obama and National Security Advisor’s Letters of Merit).
  • 2011 – Dir NSA/USCYBERCOM, Legislative Liaison for cyber operations (Defense Meritorious Service Medal).

Legislatively: 

  • 2020 – Chair of the Iowa Senate International Relations Committee which passed the Pro-Taiwan Resolution (Senate Resolution 106).
  • 2021 – Nunn was Co-Chair of Iowa Legislature’s bi-partisan Iowa-Taiwanese Caucus to protect shared interest and stand up to China.

“Everything in Cindy Axne’s desperate attack ad is false,” said Josh Treat, Nunn’s campaign manager. “Cindy Axne should be ashamed of herself for once again launching a despicable smear meant to mislead Iowans. Zach Nunn has spent his career honorably serving our country and pushing back against Chinese threats, including in the Air Force and leading recon missions against communists in China.”

Here is the ad released by Axne’s campaign:

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