Melissa Vine becomes second Democrat to announce a run for Nunn’s District 3 seat

A second Democrat has entered the race in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Melissa Vine, a small business owner and executive director of a Des Moines nonprofit that assists women in need who are working to overcome trauma, made her announcement in an online video in which she drew a sharp contrast between herself and first-term incumbent Republican Zach Nunn.

“This race is about abortion access and a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions,” Vine said in the video. “But in Congress, Zach Nunn has repeatedly voted with anti-choice extremists, voting to criminalize doctors for providing health care, opposing protections for contraception, and even voting for Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House, who co-sponsored a national abortion ban.”

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“How do I show up? With empathy, responsibility and determination, at home, at work and now as a candidate for Congress.”

Vine joins Lanon Baccam in seeking the 2024 Democratic nomination in Iowa’s 3rd District, which is centered on the Des Moines area. Since announcing his runon Nov. 9, Baccan has been endorsed by more than 30 Democratic leaders, including State Auditor Rob Sand, former governor Tom Vilsack, two former lieutenant governors — Patty Judge and Sally Pederson — as well as state Sen. Sarah Trone Garriot and Iowa House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst.

Both Vine and Baccam are first-time candidates.

Vine begins her video by talking about the challenges she’s faced as a single mother of four sons, overcoming an abusive relationship.

“Ten years ago, I left an abusive marriage and nearly lost everything — my money, my friends and my self-worth,” Vine said. “Overnight, I went from being a wealthy business owner to having zero dollars to my name. I made a promise to myself and my four young boys that we would rise up from rock bottom.”

“I needed income quickly, so I began checking groceries at Hy-Vee for $8.50 an hour. After finishing my master’s degree, I worked as a mental health provider and quickly realized helping people one-by-one wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to change the systems that were harming people. So now, I am the executive director at The Beacon, a home and early prevention programming [sic] that helps women and their children who are struggling.

“Changing the systems that harm people — that’s what I’m all about,” Vine continued. “And now, I’m ready to take this skill to Washington.”

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