DES MOINES, Iowa — Two Iowa women who formerly served together in the state legislature could face off next year in a race for Congress that could get national attention.
State Rep. Ashley Hinson, a Marion Republican, will officially announce her campaign for Iowa’s First Congressional District Tuesday. Hinson, a former television anchor, is currently serving her second term in the Iowa House.
Hinson would face U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, a Dubuque Democrat. In 2018, Finkenauer, along with Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a West Des Moines Democrat, became the first two women in state history to get elected to the U.S. House. Finkenauer previously served as a state representative.
Hinson, if she were to beat Finkenauer next year, would become the first female Republican in the state to get elected to the U.S. House. Joni Ernst, a Red Oak Republican, became the first woman to get elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014.
Hinson, though, would first have to win the Republican primary in June 2020. No other Republican has announced a campaign yet.
Iowa’s First District leans Democratic with nearly 23,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans.
IOWA — The Mueller Report has been released to the public, and Iowa’s congressional leaders are predictably split on party lines with their initial reaction to the report.
Attorney General William Barr highlighted repeatedly that the Mueller Report cleared the Trump campaign of collusion. The report presented a potential case for obstruction of justice by President Trump in trying to interfere in the investigation. However, Barr says the evidence doesn’t support a criminal charge.
The release of the report comes with Congress away from Washington on a holiday break.
Channel 13 spoke with Congresswoman Cindy Axne in Des Moines. She says obstruction of justice isn’t what she finds most revealing in the report. “We really need to be focused though on the fact that Russia did try to interfere in our elections and we need to make sure that we protect that process and ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” Axne said, “Back in Washington those are the issues that I’m working on.”
Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer released a statement as the report was being released. While she reviews the report she said in a statement that there are a few things she’ll be focused on:
“Today, Special Counsel Mueller released an approximately 400-page report that I look forward to reviewing. Making the report public has been essential to ensure that the best interests of every American rise above partisanship. We must always support, secure, and defend our elections from foreign influence.”
Senator Charles Grassley says the report shouldn’t be the in the end of the investigation. In a statement released Thursday he called for a closer examination of alleged political biases of high-ranking authorities in our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, as well as the media and its coverage of the investigation.
“We must take a hard look at how we got here and at the relevant issues that the Mueller report did not address. Were our premiere law enforcement and intelligence agencies co-opted by candidate Trump’s political opponents in an attempt to take him down? Did political bias or unverified claims taint decisions by senior agency officials? How did the media allow unsubstantiated innuendo and speculation to fester at max volume for so long? And how did many opponents of President Trump allow themselves to be turned into tools of Putin to divide our nation? Attorney General Barr is right to review the Justice Department’s actions in the Russia saga and the Inspector General is doing the same. These are issues that all Americans, especially those running for president, should want examined.”
-Senator Charles Grassley
Minnesota Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar was also in Iowa today as the report was released. She doesn’t care what William Barr has to say about the report. There’s only one person she wants to hear from right now.
“Why would we … ask a question of an Attorney General that just got into office and had nothing to do with this investigation?”, Klobuchar asked at a Des Moines campaign event Thursday morning, “I want to be able to ask Mr. Mueller who was formerly appointed FBI Director about what happened in this investigation.”
Both Klobuchar and Grassley are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that would could likely call hearings now to review the investigation.