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Hinson Pledges To Work Across The Aisle As Finkenauer Concedes In 1st Congressional District

Madeleine King
The AP called Iowa's 1st Congressional District for Republican state Rep. Ashley Hinson. Her opponent, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer has conceded.

Republican state Rep. Ashley Hinson is pledging to work with Democratic colleagues as she prepares to take office in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. The incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer conceded the race Wednesday, two years after she herself flipped the district in a historic upset.

After reviewing the available data on any remaining absentee or provisional ballots, Finkenauer called Hinson on Wednesday to concede the race and to congratulate her. In a written statement, Finkenauer said her team had concluded the results, though still unofficial, were clear.

“Today I called Rep. Hinson to offer my congratulations and concession in the race for Iowa’s First Congressional District. While it’s important to review all available election data and ensure every vote is counted, I respect our democratic process and the will of the voters,” reads a written statement from Finkenauer.

Finkenauer said it has been an honor to serve the district and that her work would continue as her term comes to a close.

“We must never give up hope that we can be an Iowa and a country defined by compassion, empathy, grit and determination to get things done,” Finkenauer said.

Hinson, for her part, called Finkenauer’s concession “very gracious” and said their teams would be working together to ensure a smooth transition.

“There are a lot of constituent challenges because of the derecho that are in process right now. So we’re going to be working together, my team and her team, to make sure that Iowans are best served in this transition,” Hinson said.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Hinson said she was grateful to be sent to Congress and excited to get to work, and she committed to being accessible to her constituents and to reporters, participating in weekly press calls.

She also pledged to collaborate with other Democratic colleagues as she prepares to take office, saying she has spoken on the phone with 3rd District Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne, now the senior member of the state’s House delegation.

“I reached out to her today because I think it’s very important that we as Iowans have a very strong voice in Washington, D.C. and that was something that she echoed on the phone today as well, that we need a good voice as a delegation from this state,” Hinson said. “If she is serving in the majority, I want to make sure that I am a partner for her in the minority. I think it’s important that we do have that amplified voice and Iowans work together as a delegation.”

Finkenauer received national attention when she flipped the northeast Iowa district two years ago, ousting a Republican incumbent in a wave election that enabled Democrats to retake control of the chamber, and made Finkenauer one of the youngest women ever to go to Congress.

Two years later, the swing district has apparently swung back. Now it’s Hinson’s win that’s getting noticed as Republicans across the country carve away at the Democratic majority in the U.S. House.

House Democrats expecting to ride another wave of opposition to President Donald Trump in suburban districts fell far short of the predictions that they would appreciably expand their control of the chamber. Instead, Republicans held and expanded their margins in many competitive communities.

Hinson was endorsed by Trump and campaigned with him most recently in Dubuque, just days before Election Day. She said she’s looking forward to working with a new class of Republican women in the U.S. House, who before this week’s election numbered just 13.

Hinson says her immediate priorities include securing additional coronavirus relief funding for Iowa families and businesses, reducing health care costs and lowering taxes.