Government

Ashley Hinson wins chance to challenge Finkenauer in November

Ashley Hinson

GOP nominee
Ashley Hinson GOP nominee

Just 38 minutes after the polls closed, it was all over.

State Rep. Ashley Hinson of Marion, who won the endorsement of President Donald Trump and raised a million dollars, steamrollered her opponent, Thomas Hansen of Decorah, in Tuesday night’s Republican primary.

Hinson, 36, will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, 31, a first-term Democrat from Dubuque, in the Nov. 3 general election to represent Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

ELECTION RESULTS: See primary results from other county and state races

“I’m honored to be the Republican nominee for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District,” Hinson said in a video acceptance speech posted to her Twitter account.

“These are turbulent and unprecedented times, and we’ve all been impacted by the pandemic,” she continued, thanking “essential workers.” “My No. 1 priority is to get Iowans back to work as quickly and safely as possible.”

Hinson said that, if elected, she would “stand up to the big banks who give preferential treatment to large corporations,” cut business regulations and bring manufacturing jobs “home from China.”

“The chaos and dysfunction we are seeing in Washington, D.C., is unacceptable to me, and I know it’s unacceptable to you,” she added.

The Associated Press called the race in Hinson’s favor at 9:38 p.m.

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Finkenauer flipped the seat in 2018 by defeating U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, a Dubuque Republican, and the Republicans hope to win it back this fall.

The Cook Political Report rates the district as a “tossup” in November.

Hinson, currently serving her second term in the Iowa House, is a former morning television anchor.

Her financial supporters include Sen. Joni Ernst’s Victory Iowa PAC and several House GOP leadership PACs. She was named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns list by meeting fundraising and other bench marks needed to run a competitive race.

Both parties are expected to spend heavily in the race.

Iowa’s 1st Congressional District covers 20 counties in northeast Iowa and includes Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Falls.

When Finkenauer, a former two-term Iowa House member, was elected in 2018, she became the second youngest woman to serve in the U.S. House. She and Rep. Cindy Axne, the Democrat who represented Iowa’s 3rd District, were the first women Iowans elected to the U.S. House.

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