MARION, Iowa — A Republican state representative from Marion filed paperwork Monday with the Federal Election Commission to run for Iowa’s First Congressional District seat.
Ashley Hinson, 35, has been a member of the Iowa House of Representatives since 2016. She is vying for a position held by freshman U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Dubuque.
Hinson did not respond to requests for comment Monday.
In response to a request for comment from Finkenauer, her campaign staff emailed a three-sentence statement that said she is “focused on representing the hardworking families” of her district.
“She’s shown that she’ll work with anyone who’s serious about helping Iowans — and that she’ll stand up to anyone, Democrat or Republican, who’s not looking out for them,” it said.
Hinson, a former TV journalist, was the chairwoman of the Iowa House Transportation Committee during the most recent legislative session, which concluded in April. She also served on the appropriations and judiciary committees.
In the Iowa House this session, Hinson served as the floor manager for multiple bills that were signed into law, including one authorizing driverless vehicles to operate on public highways and another creating a criminal offense for female genital mutilation.
On her Facebook page, she shared a message last week about Gov. Kim Reynolds signing into law a bill Hinson proposed.
“This law enacts a 30-day reporting requirement for those who violate misconduct rules as school employees,” the post stated. “I am proud to have had a hand in closing this loophole in Iowa law. This change is small but mighty.”
She also supported a bill that would require cities and counties to publicize and pass by a two-thirds vote any property tax increase over 2%. The bill was decried by some local officials, including those representing the cities of Dubuque and Dyersville.
She also has backed a state constitutional amendment, colloquially known as “Marsy’s Law,” that would spell out the rights of crime victims, including rights to restitution and notification about case proceedings.
“We guarantee rights to defendants, and I think this approach provides much-needed balance in the Iowa Constitution,” Hinson wrote in a newsletter to constituents.
The initiative did not gain traction in the 2018 session, nor when it was reintroduced this year.
Finkenauer is in her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives after two terms in the Iowa House. In November’s election, she bested the Republican incumbent, Rod Blum, for the seat.
Democratic leaders last month said signs pointed to Blum running again for the seat and referenced an expenditure of $11,365 in January by Blum For Congress to The Polling Co.
Blum did not respond to requests for comment Monday.
The 20-county congressional district is home to about 162,000 “active” Democrats and nearly 140,000 “active” Republicans — though both totals are topped by about 192,000 “active” voters with no designated party, according to May data from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.