JOHNSTON, Iowa – The candidates hoping to replace retiring Rep. Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s Second District debated for the first time Thursday night.
Democrats have the advantage in the district and that advantage has grown over the past two years. But with no built-in advantage that incumbents often have, this is expected to be a competitive race.
On money matters, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks supports looking at raising the retirement age to ease the strain on the Social Security system. Democrat Rita Hart doesn’t.
Hart wants to raise the federal minimum wage but didn’t say by how much. Miller-Meeks thinks the states should determine the minimum wage.
Miller-Meeks said, “A minimum wage is…and I started out 30 cents an hour…so a minimum wage is an entry-level. It’s not supposed to be a wage or was not meant to be a wage that is supposed to support a family.”
“We’ve got to be sure that we’re keeping up with inflation, that we’re setting a wage that is actually going to help families continue to survive as they try to pay their bills,” said Rita Hart.
President Donald Trump is working to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Conservatives hope another conservative on the bench could ultimately lead the court to overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade historic case that legalized a woman’s right to abortion.
Thursday night the two candidates had to answer what would happen if the court does overturn that case.
“That’s going to be an interesting time when that happens. I think that this is an issue that we’ve been talking about for 40 years. It’s unfortunate that we’re still having this conversation when we know that women have a right to privacy,” said Hart.
“I’m pro-life, I’ve been pro-life. I’ve had exceptions for rape, incest, and the physical life of the mother. I still have that stand. That’s my viewpoint. I think if Roe vs. Wade is overturned, then it goes back to the states,” Miller-Meeks stated.
This race is one of four House seats on the ballot this November for Iowa districts, along with one U.S. Senate seat.