Government

President Donald Trump endorses Ashley Hinson in Iowa 1st District primary

State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, watches vote totals in March 2018 on a bill before the Iowa Legislature in Des Moine
State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, watches vote totals in March 2018 on a bill before the Iowa Legislature in Des Moines. President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed Hinson in the Republican primary for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. The winner of that primary will face U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, in the November general election. (The Gazette)

Less than two weeks before the June 2 primary election, President Donald Trump has weighed in on a Republican primary in Iowa’s 1st District.

Friday afternoon, Trump, who carried the 1st District by 49 percent to 45 percent over Hillary Clinton in 2016, endorsed state Rep. Ashley Hinson of Marion.

“Ashley Hinson (@hinsonashley) will be a tremendous advocate for the People of Iowa! She will fight for our Military, Vets, Small Businesses, & our Incredible Farmers—a true supporter of our #MAGA Agenda! Ashley has my Complete and Total Endorsement! #IA01,” Trump tweeted.

Hinson, who has campaigned with the president, tweeted that she was “honored to have the support of @realdonaldtrump as I fight to defend Iowa families and work with him to get Americans back to work.”

Hinson faces opposition from Thomas Hansen of Decorah in the Republican primary. She has attracted broad support from the GOP.

For example, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy included Hinson in his 2020 Young Guns program. To qualify, candidates have to meet goals to ensure their campaigns are competitive and well-funded.

The winner of the GOP primary will face first-term U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, a Dubuque Democrat.

Hinson, a former morning television anchor, has raised nearly $2 million -- $1,889,437 -- in her first congressional race.

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In the April 1 to May 13 Federal Election Commission reporting period, she came within $10,000 of matching Finkenauer’s fundraising. Hinson raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars — $249,274 — to Finkenauer’s $259,014.

However, Finkenauer has more than twice as much cash on hand — $2,223,009 — to Hinson’s $1,018,069.

Reacting to the Trump endorsement, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said that earlier in the day, Hinson had been quoted in iowastartingline.com saying, “I am a different brand than what the president offers.”

She went on to say: “That doesn’t mean I don’t support a lot of what he’s trying to do. He’s making the case for himself. I’m making the case for me, and I think that’s how I’ve always approached every election.”

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

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