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Hinson apologizes, blames staff after journalist uncovers plagiarism

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, watches as House Speaker Pat Grassley takes the oath of office during the opening day of the Iowa Legislature, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, watches as House Speaker Pat Grassley takes the oath of office during the opening day of the Iowa Legislature, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 2:05 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in eastern Iowa issued an apology on social media after a journalist for the New York Times identified passages on her campaign website that had been copied from that newspaper and others.

Ashley Hinson, the Republican candidate in the race for House District 1 against incumbent Rep. Abby Finkenauer, wrote a post on Twitter that apologized for the plagiarism that the Times reported on Monday. Hinson, a former journalist, is the current Iowa House member for District 67, which includes northern parts of the Cedar Rapids metro area in Hiawatha, Marion, and Robins.

“I was unaware of the plagiarism when I reviewed drafts presented to me by staff. As a journalist I take this extremely seriously and am deeply sorry for the mistake,” Hinson wrote in the post. “The staff responsible will be held accountable.”

The Times showed paragraphs from Hinson’s website which copied a story from that newspaper word-for-word, accounting for 91 words out of a 642-word page. The article listed other examples of passages taken from other news outlets, including the Des Moines Register and The Hill.

Some of the examples provided by the Times were removed from Hinson’s website after her campaign was made aware of them, according to the Times.

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