Government

Ashley Hinson, Abby Finkenauer raise $3 million in 2019 for Iowa's 1st District race

Northeast Iowa contest expected to be one of nation's most competitive

State Rep. Ashley Hinson looks on during the Jan. 15, 2019, Condition of the State address in the House chamber at the I
State Rep. Ashley Hinson looks on during the Jan. 15, 2019, Condition of the State address in the House chamber at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Hinson reported raising $430,000 in the fourth quarter, for a total of $1.1 million, in her quest to run for Congress against U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st District. (The Gazette)
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Candidates running in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District raised $3 million between them in 2019 and head into the 2020 election with more than $1.5 million cash on hand for what is expected to be a competitive race.

First-term U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer will report raising $1.9 million over the past year, and state Rep. Ashley Hinson has reported raising $1.1 million in 2019.

Hinson, a Marion Republican serving her second term in the Iowa House, raised $430,000 in the October through December reporting period.

Finkenauer, a Dubuque Democrat, reported raising more than $600,000, which, according to the Finkenauer campaign, is more support than any other candidate in the 1st District has raised for the tenth consecutive quarter.

Finkenauer’s cash on hand will exceed $1 million, according to her campaign.

The October through December quarter was Hinson’s largest to date. Her campaign will report more than $734,000 cash on hand for the June primary and November general election.

Thomas Hansen of Decorah and Darren White of Bellevue also are seeking the Republican nomination in the 1st District.

Hinson said she was honored by the support — 78 percent came from Iowans.

“It’s clear that our message of bringing Iowa common sense to Washington is resonating with voters across Iowa,” she said.

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“Voters know that it’s time for the 1st District to have a representative who puts people before politics and knows how to get results,” her campaign manager, Jimmy Peacock, said.

Finkenauer’s campaign also saw the fundraising numbers as a sign that “Iowans believe in the work she is doing to tirelessly advocate for working families in Congress,” according to campaign spokesman Ned Miller.

“Iowans appreciate Rep. Finkenauer’s effective leadership to lower prescription drug costs, expand rural broadband and extend the biofuel tax credits,” he said. “She remains focused on delivering common-sense solutions for people across the 1st District.”

The 20-county district, which includes Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Cedar Falls-Waterloo and Marshalltown, flipped from GOP to Democratic representation in 2018. National political forecasters expect the 1st District will be one of the most competitive races this year. The Cook Political Report has rated it as “toss-up.”

The campaign is attracting support and spending from several outside groups.

House Majority Forward, a political action committee supporting Democrats, on Wednesday announced a $2.2 million ad buy, including $92,600 in the Cedar Rapids television market. The PAC earlier spent more than $7 million on digital and television ads in competitive districts, including Iowa’s 1st.

Hinson’s financial supporters include Sen. Joni Ernst’s Victory Iowa PAC and several House GOP leadership PACs.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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