Republican Ashley Hinson won’t be sworn in until Jan. 3, 2021 as a member of Congress, but the newly elected representative from Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is already creating what she calls “constituent advisory groups” to help her keep her ears to the ground and her eyes on what’s most important to local citizens once she arrives in Washington, D.C.
The constituent groups, or coalitions, will offer Iowa residents “an opportunity to advise [Hinson] on what Congress should—or shouldn’t—be working on,” as a recent piece in The Gazette explained.
Hinson said she believes in getting “real-world feedback” from the people—and that this model worked well for her during her four years of service in the Iowa House as a state representative, as The Gazette also reported. Those who participate in the coalitions, Hinson’s website notes, will be joining “other residents who share your values and are ready to fight hard to protect them. When we band together to support conservatism, we can do big things.”
On November 3, Hinson beat out Democrat incumbent Abby Finkenauer. Hinson won with 51.3 percent of the vote (212,088 votes) over Finkenauer’s 48.7 percent of the vote (201,347 votes). Come January, Hinson will be joining a number of other GOP women just elected to the House, including Rep.-Elect Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Rep.-Elect Victoria Spartz of Indiana.
Check out this list of other Republican winners this November:
Hinson, 37, was born in Des Moines. She and her husband, Matthew, have two sons. She earned her BA in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California and won awards for her work as a journalist. During her time as a state representative for Iowa’s 67th District, she worked “to balance the budget, cut taxes, and protect the most vulnerable in her community,” as her campaign website points out.
“A firm believer in common sense leadership, she has worked across the aisle to help fund school infrastructure while providing direct property tax relief to Iowans,” the site also explains. “Her tireless advocacy for Iowa families has also helped secure increased aid for K-12 education and additional funding for rural hospitals and mental health facilities.”
Hinson belongs to the Antioch Christian Church, a non-denominational church whose mission is “leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” Fervently pro-life, she aims to “save as many lives as possible” from the scourge of abortion, as she noted during a recent Iowa Public Radio interview.
In her run for Congress, Hinson had extremely high “scorecard” ratings as a conservative from two key groups: the National Federation of Independent Business IA and the American Conservative Union IA. Hinson was endorsed by President Donald Trump, as well as by the Citizens United Political Victory Fund, the National Rifle Association, the Tea Party Express, Winning for Women, and other groups.
Contributors to her campaign included Bernie Marcus (co-founder of The Home Depot), the Iowa PAC for Life, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Republican Women’s Organizations, and many others, as reported by iVoterGuide, a resource for American voters.
In stark contrast, Democrat Finkenauer was scored as “very liberal” by such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood. Finkenauer received contributions from the Committee for a Democratic Future, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), NARAL, National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), among other groups.
The conservative Hinson, during session two of her orientation on Capitol Hill, tweeted earlier this week that she is “ready to get to work.” Hinson also said that she’s “looking forward to meeting my new colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Can’t wait to start serving #IA01.”
In a previous message to her Iowa constituents just after her win on November 3, Hinson wrote on Facebook that she’s “honored” to be the “congresswoman-elect for Iowa’s first district.” She added, “We sent a message: The chaos and dysfunction we see in Washington is unacceptable to Iowans and voters expect more.”
She added, “In Congress, I will always remember that the hard-working taxpayers are the folks that elected me, and they are my bosses. I’m ready to get to work for Iowans and tackle the issues that really matter to Iowa families—reforming our broken health care system, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, securing our border, and putting money back in the pockets of hard-working Iowans. This is the honor of my life and I look forward to serving you in Congress. God Bless.”
This article was written by Maureen Mackey. She is a writer, editor, and web content strategist in the New York City area.