Ashley Hinson Pulls Off Upset Win To Unseat Abby Finkenauer

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer’s historic tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives came to an abrupt end as Iowans in the 1st District supported state Rep. Ashley Hinson, her Republican challenger.

The Associated Press called the race at 9:37 a.m. Wednesday for Hinson. With 100% of precincts reporting, Hinson leads Finkenauer 51.3% to 48.7%, according to unofficial election results.

Hinson claimed victory early this morning, before the AP called the race. At 12:57 a.m., Finkenauer’s campaign released a statement saying they “will continue to review election returns and data on outstanding ballots” and “as quickly as possible” would provide an update Wednesday.

Hinson is a first-time congressional candidate who has served House District 67 since 2017. She is a former TV news anchor.

Finkenauer, along with Rep. Cindy Axne in the 3rd District, is one of 44 “frontline” Democrats who flipped a red seat blue in 2018 and put Democrats on the path to a majority in the U.S. House. Two years ago they were the first women elected to the U.S House from Iowa. Axne defeated Republican David Young on Tuesday night 49% to 47.6%, though the AP has yet to call the race.

Though Finkenauer carried the district’s population centers in Linn, Dubuque and Black Hawk counties, Hinson’s large margins in the region’s small counties (and Finkenauer’s narrow win in Dubuque) offset the congresswoman’s lead in the cities. Hinson is a well-funded challenger from the Cedar Rapids suburbs, a demographic Republicans needed on their side in order to be successful this year.

Iowa’s election results are unofficial until ballot canvasses are conducted. County officials must hold canvasses in all 99 counties by Nov. 10. The statewide canvass will be completed by Nov. 30 and then the Iowa Executive Council certifies the results. Absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by noon Nov. 9 will be counted.


By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 11/4/20

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