Democratic Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer is refusing to debate her opponent, Ashley Hinson. Every major Eastern Iowa TV station, KCRG-TV9, KWWL, and KGAN, proposed hosting debates for voters in the district. Ashley Hinson agreed to all three – Finkenauer said no.

In a statement to Iowa Field Report, Hinson has this to say,

“I’m deeply disappointed in Congresswoman Finkenauer, and the voters I talk to every day in the First District agree with me. We need to debate the issues that matter to them. I don’t understand why Congresswoman Finkenauer has decided to disrespect the very voters that sent her to Washington. The Congresswoman should explain what exactly is keeping her so busy, because it’s pretty clear right now that Washington is getting nothing done.” 

In an attempt to highlight Finkenauer’s decision to skip debates, the Hinson campaign launched a bracketing operation involving a chicken costume, a paper sign, and staff/volunteer likely drunk on kool-aid.

The congresswoman claims her congressional duties prevent her from debating her opponent. However, Iowa congresswoman Cindy Axne and Senator Joni Ernst have found time to debate. The situation has led many to assume that Finkenauer is lying about her schedule to avoid taking positions on issues her party promotes that are unpopular.
In 2018, this same kind of debate dodging led to members of her party criticizing Finkenauer for skipping out on forums. Below is a screenshot of Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson, a Democrat, calling Finkenauer “Absent Abbie” and that she was “not my cup of tea.”
Finkenauer was elected in 2018 to represent Iowa’s first congressional district. The Cook Political Report ranks the race a “toss-up.”