WATERLOO — Just 38 minutes after the polls closed, it was all over.
Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson of Marion, who got the endorsement of President Donald Trump and raised millions of dollars, steamrolled her opponent Thomas Hansen of Decorah in Tuesday night's Republican primary.
"I'm honored to be the Republican nominee for Congress in Iowa's First District," Hinson said in a video acceptance speech posted to her Twitter account just before 10 p.m. Tuesday.
"These are turbulent and unprecedented times, and we've all been impacted by the pandemic," she continued, thanking "essential workers." "My No. 1 priority is to get Iowans back to work as quickly and safely as possible."
Hinson said that, if elected to the House of Representatives, she would "stand up to the big banks who give preferential treatment to large corporations," cut business regulations and bring manufacturing jobs "home from China."
"The chaos and dysfunction we are seeing in Washington, D.C., is unacceptable to me, and I know it's unacceptable to you," she added.
The Associated Press called the race in Hinson's favor at 9:38 p.m., just 38 minutes after the polls closed at 9 p.m. The Iowa Secretary of State's website showed Hinson besting Hansen with 78% of the vote, though with only nine of 20 counties fully reporting.
Hinson will now face incumbent U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, a first-term Democrat from Dubuque, for the U.S. House District 1 seat in the general election Nov. 3.
Finkenauer released a statement on the primary just after 9 p.m., before the winner was announced.
"Tonight, I'm proud to see record turnout among Iowans in a primary election, especially under these very difficult circumstances," Finkenauer said in the emailed statement. "As we move toward Election Day, I hope to continue to earn the support of my neighbors across Iowa's First District."
Finkenauer flipped the seat in 2018 by defeating former U.S. Rep. Rod Blum. The Cook Political Report rates the district as a “toss-up" in November.
Hinson, currently serving her second term in the Iowa House, is a former morning television anchor. Her financial supporters include Sen. Joni Ernst’s Victory Iowa PAC and several House GOP leadership PACs.
She was named to the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns list by meeting fundraising and other benchmarks needed to run a competitive race.
"Congratulations to Ashley Hinson on her well-deserved primary victory," NRCC chairman Tom Emmer said in a statement just after the race was called. "Throughout her career, Ashley has been a trusted voice in Iowa and I can think of no better contrast to Abby Finkenauer, whose only focus has ever been on advancing her own political career and socialist agenda."
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