State Senator Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) will join an international election monitoring team for Ukraine’s snap Parliamentary elections this week, opting to defer on a potential congressional bid in Iowa’s 3rd District.

Sen. Nunn, who serves as Iowa’s International Relations Committee Chairman, will join the US State Department in partnership with Ukraine’s Central Election Commission. The team will help ensure “free and fair elections” in the wake of Russian-backed separatists that have occupied nearly a third of the country. 

“I am humbled by the responsibility to help protect democracy in this key geopolitical region. This is about ensuring democracy in a place that once experienced first-hand authoritarian Soviet control and hostile puppet governments.” Nunn said.

Nunn, a former White House director of cybersecurity and current squadron commander within his military unit, will join a small group of international election monitors in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine.

Nunn’s departure follows his decision not to launch a bid for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Sen. Nunn won re-election in 2018 as a Republican in a historically Democrat district, beating the current congresswoman by double-digits in several key Polk County precincts.

Nunn said, “For the past few weeks, we’ve met hundreds of Iowans on a 16-county ‘Listening Tour’ across southwest Iowa. We received overwhelmingly positive support from everyday Iowans. Going forward, we’re still deeply committed to serving, working for Iowans, and helping improve communities.”

Sen. Nunn thanked the scores of supporters who encouraged him to run.

“Congress can be fixed. Doing it will require more of the Iowa model of home-grown solutions — and less of the D.C. mandates and extremism,” Nunn said. “Growing our nation’s success and forging a path forward starts with winning back Iowa’s 3rd District. I support leaders like U.S. Senator Grassley when they seek to focus on winning the 3rd district — and that is most achievable when we’re working together.”

Upon returning from Ukraine, Nunn will continue to serve as a squadron commander with the U.S. Air Force and will continue his term in the Iowa Senate through 2020.