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By Amanda Lynn Hinson
My opponent in the primary likes to play dirty. I realize as a female and a former pastor/missionary, he assumes I can't take a hit or swing back. As such, I also did not intend to start a boxing match. I learned something at the endorsing convention, though. I have to tell the voters exactly what my opponent's tactics are so that you have all the information. And there’s something as a journalist that I love to do—tell it like it is, reveal the facts, and let you decide.
Why has my opponent consistently called me less conservative than himself without any basis? When I approached him about the matter, he claimed it was his opinion, a matter of subjectivity--based on no facts. However, to the audiences at conventions, he's stated it as fact. And even now, he continues to share this with newspapers. I was nominated by the local Republican party without reservation, and you can't get nominated if you're not conservative. Truly, when we're measuring conservatism, I'd like to know what he's basing his opinions on. Perhaps that I'm a female candidate? We don't expect that always from the conservative side. Currently there are 19 Republican women serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He claimed at our convention he was the "only Constitutional-Conservative". It is disgusting to me how there would be anyone in the Republican party to accuse a candidate of not being Constitutional when this is the very fabric of the Republican platform. He claimed it had to do with a particular platform he adheres to. So what is this platform he was referring to? Not of the Republican Party but an independent party which is actually called the Constitutionalist Party. His entire stance of what he wants to do with government is a copy of the Constitutionalist Party platform. He does state all over his social media presence that he is a Constitutionalist. To many of us Republicans, this is more of an adjective. We are all Constitutionalists in the Republican Party. In the paper, he states he is a "strict Constitutional Conservative". My opponent, however, doesn’t call himself Republican—careful with the misleading point that he is “Republican Endorsed”. So yes, he is the only Constitutionalist Party member.
Now, his wife calls me, a former pastor, unethical with more distortions in an effort to call my opponent a man of integrity. As someone who has written many news stories and a book about socialized medicine, I am used to quadruple-checking my facts before publishing. I am extremely conscientious not to spread misinformation. In journalism, this is what I am known for-- telling the truth. To me, gossip is a sin. Spreading lies is wrong. Telling a false story for political gain as you seek to gain the trust of the people is absolutely unacceptable to me. I realize it has always been done, but that is why we are in the mess we are in. A government of the people and by the people cannot really be of and by a people when we get incorrect information.
I hope that you consider this as you vote in the August 9 Primary and in November. I will tell you the facts and the truth. My opponent consistently says whatever he can to smear me and my wonderful team and irresponsibly tells the news and his followers baseless and untrue statements about us that have obviously never run through a fact-check.
Amanda Lynn Hinson (R) of Long Prairie filed for candidacy for the 7th District’s US House of Representatives on Tuesday.
A lifelong Minnesotan, Hinson worked as a missionary in Far East Russia, near China and North Korea, and went on to author a book about her experience. Hinson recognizes similarities to her present run with her past experiences.
“My son was born in a foreign country and essentially was born an illegal alien,” Hinson recalled. “Unlike America, there are no anchor babies in Russia. Legal experts advised my family that we should leave and start over with a lengthy and costly visa process we had already achieved.” Hinson did not back down.
With work yet to accomplish and a tight budget of donor money, the Hinson family needed a solution that wouldn't require the huge expense of leaving and starting over. Knowing the law and believing common sense would prevail, Hinson advocated her son's case for several months until officials appealed to Moscow. Her son was eventually granted the necessary legal status while keeping positive relations with Russian officials and without having to leave the country.
“Americans need someone who will fight for them in Congress, who will not give up on the causes important to them and who isn’t intimidated by today’s circumstances or the usual way of doing things.”
Hinson says she is willing to work with others to be resourceful and solution-oriented in order to complete tasks such as balancing a budget and tackling our National Debt. “In my life, I have worked with people I don’t agree with in order to achieve common sense solutions. I will do the same as this district's representative.”
Hinson was not awarded the Republican endorsement at the Alexandria convention in April but says she hasn’t given up on her commitment to her supporters, donors and citizens of the district. “I will persevere in Washington. I’m not going to quit when I see a job that needs to be done. My deep roots here, going back five generations, compels me that of everyone on the ballot, I'm going to be our district's best advocate."
One issue that is important to Hinson and exemplifies federal overreach into the personal lives of everyday Minnesotans is the national school lunch program. Hinson says she will work to give local schools and parents more freedom on what is served.
“If I knew that running for the local school board or Minnesota legislature could fix the school lunches, I would make that my race," Hinson said. "Unfortunately, our federal government seems it thinks parents don't know best about anything from hot lunch to healthcare, so that’s where our voices need to be heard.”
Today, Representative Collin Peterson serves on the Agriculture Committee, which is where policies focused on school lunches are created. As a member of the Ag Committee, Hinson will serve on subcommittees for school lunch and have more influence with a direct impact that supports local control. Hinson is concerned that with Peterson's tenure on the Ag Committee he has not done more to hear the frustrations of parents, students and schools with present regulations. She sees tackling school lunch as one of many accomplishable goals in her first term, whereas one of the Republican-endorsed candidate's goals is to abolish the 16th Amendment.
"We are tired of a Washington that has forgotten their place," Hinson said. "I'm about common sense and real solutions that bring us back to the principles of our founding fathers such as limited government, protection of the family, and preserving our inalienable rights."
Hinson has home schooled for several years but now sends her children to public school, many days sending them with their own lunch. “Since 1946, Congress has directed policy and regulations for America’s school lunches. At one time, it was to give kids more food. Now, it’s not enough,” Hinson said.
One woman in history who helped form school lunch policy on the Ag Committee is Coya Knutson. She was not endorsed by the DFL party but ran in a primary and went on to become Minnesota’s first Congresswoman, serving from 1951-1955. She is remembered for the letter to the editor her then estranged husband wrote at the behest of party officials. Entitled “Coya, Come Home”, the letter is largely considered a historical example of sexism in politics.
“Everywhere I go, people ask me how I could raise my kids and run for office or serve in Washington,” Hinson said. "I have met women serving in Congress today who are effectively serving and being engaged with their families. If that question is fair game for me, it's fair to ask that of my opponent as well who has seven children of his own.”
Hinson says that as a pastor and missionary, she and her family are used to a high-stress, busy lifestyle that involves serving the public. “My husband, my children, and I feel most at home when we are serving others. We can’t imagine it any other way.”
Thanks to Jackson for letting me share my story on LPTV in Bemidji!
Thanks, Brittany Ford, for the opportunity to share my story today at KVRR!