Hinson: GOP women claiming House seats ‘ready to get to work’
Congresswoman-elect Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, discusses Republican women making gains in Congress and what’s first on the agenda.
Ashley Hinson, a multitasking, minivan-driving mom, flipped a blue seat red in Iowa by campaigning on kitchen table issues and pledging to be a taxpayer advocate in Congress.
The former morning TV news anchor and two-term Iowa state representative beat Rep. Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer on Nov. 3 and joins the large class of new GOP female members.
"I campaigned on giving taxpayers a seat at the table and providing as much transparency as possible in government," said Hinson, who has also pledged to explain her votes on her website and schedule weekly press availability.
She put more than 60,000 miles on her minivan campaigning throughout the 1st Congressional District talking with constituents in diners and living rooms about affordability problems with health care and more. Now she wants to ensure the stories are heard in Washington.
"I'm a storyteller by nature," Hinson told Fox News during a Zoom interview. "I was a journalist before I got into politics and I think being an effective advocate for the people you represent is being able to tell their stories."
Ashley Hinson, a multitasking, minivan-driving mom, flipped a blue seat red in Iowa by campaigning on kitchen table issues and pledging to be a taxpayer advocate in Congress. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
She's against "Medicare for All," Defund the Police and socialism. But she's coming to Washington with a pragmatic approach of working with anyone, regardless of party, to deliver common-sense solutions for Iowa.
Hinson, 37, wants to focus on strong constituent services, curbing government spending, economic prosperity and finding common ground.
"Iowans sent me there to go get something done," Hinson said. "They didn't send me there to twiddle my thumbs and launch firebombs."
Hinson's congressional career got off to a rocky start. Before planning to fly to D.C. for freshman orientation, she tested positive for coronavirus, along with her husband.
They are quarantining at home in Iowa with their two sons until after Thanksgiving break. She said her symptoms were mild and the biggest challenge has been managing work and trying to teach their kids, ages 7 and 9, who are now home from school.
"We're just juggling — like a lot of families are right now," Hinson said Thursday as she participated in freshman orientation remotely.
Her brush with COVID-19 has not prompted her to support new government mandates like mask-wearing. But she personally has embraced masks, even though she's been called out by naysayers for sporting a "face diaper."
"I wear a mask everywhere I go out in public, and it still didn't keep me from getting coronavirus," Hinson said. "So I think it's important that people do wear them. I tried to lead by example in wearing them."
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When she's sworn into office, she'll be the first Republican woman from Iowa in the House of Representatives. She could be joined in making history by Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, whose race in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District is too close to call with 47 votes separating her from Democrat Rita Hart.
After working in TV news for a decade and waking up at 2:30 a.m. for the morning show at the ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Hinson said she got tired of talking about problems and wanted to do something proactive. She ran for the Iowa State House, where she's served for four years and campaigned on being a good steward of taxpayers' hard-earned money.
Her husband is the co-owner of a small business specializing in truck insurance. Each year, when he pays taxes to the Iowa Department of Revenue, he takes a picture of the outside of the envelope and sends the image to his wife with a message: "Honey, spend it wisely."
"It's very important to me that taxpayers have a solid advocate," Hinson said.
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As a congresswoman, she'll call out egregious spending, reject any "fluff" that Speaker Nancy Pelosi inserts into a coronavirus relief bill and would support a balanced budget amendment.
Hinson is also a classically trained violinist and pianist who plays on her church's worship team. She's looking forward to bringing a real-life perspective to Washington as a busy working mom with a mortgage.
"You want someone who's able to tell your stories and understand what you're living," Hinson said. "And trust me: We understand what you're living because we're living it too."
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