When given the opportunity to align herself with President Donald Trump during a recent television interview, Ashley Hinson, a state representative and Republican candidate for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, took a markedly different tone than her fellow GOP candidates around the state.
“I am a different brand than what the President offers,” Hinson said, in an interview with Cedar Rapids’ KGAN TV station, published May 16. “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.”
Hinson, of Marion, represents part of the Cedar Rapids suburbs in the Iowa Legislature. Linn County, of which Marion is a part, voted for Democratic Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer by a wide margin in 2018. That election saw many suburban voters move away from Republicans toward the Democratic ticket, in part out of frustration with Trump’s behavior and policies.
Hinson’s remarks in the May 16 interview are notable given how Iowa’s other Republican candidates for Congress embrace Trump. Hinson’s primary opponent, Thomas Hansen, wears a “Trump 2020” hat in nearly all of his campaign videos.
In response to the interview, Hansen said on Facebook he is “an avid supporter of President Trump and his policies because they mirror mine own Constitutional philosophies.”
Hinson, he said, “is rather RHINOish about him.”
Though Hinson recently has shied away from overt shows of support for Trump, in the past she has taken opportunities to praise him.
She introduced the President at a June 2017 rally, joking to the crowd that she was a “recovering journalist.” Shortly after, she wrote a guest column in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, saying Trump “is working to provide all Americans with the best deal possible.”
Republicans in the 4th District primary all put themselves firmly in Trump’s corner. And in the 2nd District, Mariannette Miller-Meeks runs Facebook ads calling herself “the only reliable pro-Trump conservative” and “the conservative pro-Trump candidate for Congress.”
In the 3rd District, former congressman David Young, running to retake the seat held by Congresswoman Cindy Axne, has closely tied himself to the President in multiple interviews, saying on the Simon Conway radio show he “voted the most with President Trump” of any Iowa Republican while in Congress.
By Elizabeth Meyer
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