Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, July 20 apologized for plagiarism that the New York Times reported finding on her campaign website and in published opinion pieces and blamed a staff member.

Hinson is challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer for Iowa’s First Congressional District seat in a tightly contested race that has garnered national attention.

The New York Times reported Hinson “has lifted verbatim sentences on her campaign website and in published op-eds more than a dozen times since her campaign began last year.” The plagiarism included passages from stories by that newspaper, the Des Moines Register and CNBC, according to the Times. It also noted that Hinson’s “platform on veterans issues uses near-identical language” to Finkenauer’s.

Hinson issued a statement in response July 20.

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

In a Facebook post July 20, Finkenauer responded: “I’m deeply disappointed to hear my opponent has plagiarized the work of so many others — including me. Public service requires authenticity and integrity — and that’s my commitment to #IA01.”