In case you missed it, Ashley was featured in today’s POLITICO Huddle as a “member you should know”. The profile highlights her path to office, as well as her hard work on behalf of Iowans in Washington, D.C. To date, she has introduced or co-sponsored more than 100 pieces of legislation and brings a fresh perspective to Congress as a mom of two boys.
Thank you for your generous support of the campaign, let’s continue the hustle.
A MEMBER YOU SHOULD KNOW: “Are you really making them squeal in Washington, D.C.?” a reporter asked Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) about a year after she won her Senate campaign, which became widely known for her campaign ads featuring hogs that said: “Washington is full of big spenders, let’s make them squeal.”
That is the best question freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson (R) recalls asking a politician during her former life as a broadcast reporter. “This is kind of funny because now we work together,” Hinson recalled to me in an interview. “I don’t know if she remembers that or not, but I do remember asking her that question.” The two are close, with Hinson describing Ernst as a big advocate of hers who first asked her if she’d consider running for Congress in 2018.
You can tell she’s a reporter by trade when you talk to her. Her answers are polished and her messaging is disciplined. It doesn’t hurt that she has TV experience — a background that has made her a strong force in the freshman class. Hinson, who is almost always visibly in a rush to some engagement or meeting, is frequently mentioned by more senior House Republicans as someone who has star potential in this freshmen class.
Her path to Congress tracked across screens of local TV news in the Cedar Rapids area for nearly a decade. As she zipped across the state, she became inspired to get into politics. The moment it really clicked for her, she says, was when she saw legislators in the State House rallying to respond to a devastating flood in 2008 that majorly impacted Cedar Rapids. She saw them implementing flood prevention and mitigation programs as well as addressing a previously misspent budget. “I was really inspired by seeing, ironically, the collegiality that happened post-disaster,” she tells me.
In contrast to her start in politics, Jan. 6 kicked off her start in the House. Still, Hinson touts how she has formed relationships across the aisle and has introduced or co-sponsored more than 100 pieces of legislation so far. But her number one priority is access to childcare. The mother of two says access to affordable childcare “goes hand in hand with the workforce in rural Iowa, specifically.”
Members she looks up to?: There were a few, but she says Dr. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), she says “does a really nice job” as well as Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a mentor of hers who she says exhibits “statesmanship.”
The weirdest thing she’d admit to me?: She grew up with her mom putting cottage cheese in ramen noodles as a meal, which she says “still tastes good because I grew up eating it.” Any of you Huddlers willing to give it a go?