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GOP women’s group launches negative ad against Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer

The ad could boost her opponent, state Rep. Ashley Hinson

Iowa Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer is facing a competitive reelection race against GOP state Rep. Ashley Hinson.
Iowa Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer is facing a competitive reelection race against GOP state Rep. Ashley Hinson. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC linked to Winning for Women, a group supporting GOP women candidates, is launching a new attack against Iowa Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer, a freshman who flipped a Republican district two years ago.

The 30-second spot is part of a “six-figure” ad buy on broadcast networks in the Cedar Rapids media market from WFW Action Fund, according to information shared first with CQ Roll Call.

The ad knocks Finkenauer for voting for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and supporting proxy voting, which was implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They don’t even have to show up to work anymore,” the ad’s narrators says over footage of Pelosi showing the ice cream in her fridge. The ad also features footage of Finkenauer saying she ran for Congress to get things done, accusing Finkenauer of getting things “done for Pelosi.”

Iowa’s House races and competitive Senate race will attract plenty of outside spending, but Winning for Women’s ad is the first negative spending against Finkenauer.

Winning for Women’s spending could boost Finkenauer’s opponent, GOP state Rep. Ashley Hinson. Republicans have touted Hinson as a top recruit, especially in the effort to bolster the number of GOP women in the House beyond the 13 currently serving.

Hinson outraised Finkenauer in the most recent fundraising quarter, but Finkenauer maintained a financial advantage. As of June 30, Finkenauer’s campaign had $2.7 million on hand compared with Hinson’s $1.6 million.

Finkenauer is one of 30 Democrats running for reelection in districts that President Donald Trump carried in 2016. Trump won the 1st District in northeast Iowa by nearly 4 points in 2016 and Finkenanuer defeated former GOP Rep. Rod Blum by 6 points in 2018. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilt Democratic.

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