We’ve seen a lot of ridiculous things this election cycle but Rep. Abby Finkenauer’s latest political stunt takes the cake.

For the past nine days, our friends, family members, and neighbors have been suffering from the destruction caused by the recent derecho that slammed large swaths of Iowa with hurricane-force winds. Dozens of businesses are in shambles, millions of acres are flattened, and many folks have been displaced as a result of this devastating storm. While many elected officials, including Gov. Reynolds, Sens. Ernst and Grassley, and Ashley Hinson went to work to help those impacted, Rep. Finkenauer immediately calculated how to use it to her political advantage.

She may have rolled up her sleeves to give Iowans in need food and water, but she was sure to have her campaign production crew not too far behind, filming her along the way — all so she could use the footage in a quickly-compiled campaign ad.

Leave it to Abby Finkenauer to turn a devastating storm that destroyed businesses, homes, and livelihoods — in the middle of a pandemic — into a political opportunity. Her actions are beyond the pale, but not surprising. Finkenauer has played partisan games with this devastating derecho from day one — spreading false accusations about the governor’s response, and now attempting to score points by turning the derecho damage into her own personal campaign production studio. As we continue working to recover and rebuild, all Iowans should be especially disgusted by Finkenauer’s latest political stunt.

I’m reminded that in times of crisis, Iowans pull together and help their neighbors. True leaders join with them, lend a helping hand with no ulterior motive, and have the ear of leaders like the President of the United States to secure needed resources. Ashley Hinson is one such true leader.

Northeast Iowans deserve a leader like Ashley. Rep. Finkenauer has proven time and again that she is blinded by partisanship — rendering her untrustworthy and ineffective. If there was ever an instance that solidified her fate as a one-term Congresswoman, using a charity event so she could run a campaign ad is that instance. Her political stunts have grown old, and it’s time to restore effective leadership to the first district.