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Live debate features one veteran and two rookies

DES MOINES, Iowa — The three Republicans hoping to unseat Iowa’s only Democrat in Congress have spoken to numerous groups, breakfasts, county party gatherings and forums. They have never taken part in a debate together. They will on Tuesday.

“They’re side by side with some of the same questions,” Polk County Republican Chair Gloria Mazza said as she looked ahead to Tuesday’s live debate featuring the three Republicans running for the 3rd Congressional District nomination. “With a forum, they’re mostly talking about themselves and all their great qualities. But now we can see what they are with the issues.”

The three Republicans bring different backgrounds. One has served in public office; the other two have not.

Nicole Hasso: senior internal wholesaler financial services executive with Principal Financial Group who lives in Johnston. She grew up in Chicago before moving to Des Moines to attend Drake University. Hasso later attended Iowa State University. She has not held public office.

Gary Leffler: activist from West Des Moines. Leffler previously owned and operated a farm and worked in the financial services and construction industries.

Zach Nunn: state senator from Bondurant who previously served in the house of representatives. He has served as an airborne intelligence officer in the United States Air Force, legislative analyst for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, director of cybersecurity policy and engagement for the United States Security Council, counterintelligence officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and adjunct professor of cybersecurity and national policy at Drake University.

The candidates will take part in a live, one hour debate on Tuesday, May 3rd, from 4-5 p.m. at Des Moines Area Community College Urban Campus in Des Moines. The Polk County Republican Party co-sponsored the debate with WHO 13.

WHO 13 will broadcast the debate live and stream it on

The winner of the June 7th primary faces incumbent Cindy Axne, a West Des Moines Democrat.

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