Rita Hart Drops Her Challenge to Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ Election to Congress

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In this Oct. 8, 2020, file photo, Rita Hart answers a question during a debate with Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Iowa officials on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, were expected to certify a Republican candidate as a six-vote winner for an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, in what is shaping up […]

IOWA — Democrat Rita Hart announced Wednesday afternoon that she is ending her challenge to the 2020 election results that saw her lose a seat in Congress by six votes to Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Miller-Meeks was certified as the winner of the race and seated in Congress conditionally by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Miller-Meeks was the apparent winner of the race on election night, but Hart took the lead when an accounting error was discovered in Jasper County. Another error shifted the race back to Miller-Meek’s side a week later. When the votes were finally re-counted and certified, Miller-Meeks held a six vote advantage.

Hart announced the end of her challenge with this statement:

“After many conversations with people I trust about the future of this contest, I have made the decision to withdraw my contest before the House Committee on Administration. Since Election Day, and throughout this entire process, my mission has been about ensuring the voices of Iowans who followed the law are not silenced. I am saddened that some Iowans’ votes will not count through no fault of their own. The work of ensuring it does not happen again will continue beyond this campaign. 

Despite our best efforts to have every vote counted, the reality is that the toxic campaign of political disinformation to attack this constitutional review of the closest congressional contest in 100 years has effectively silenced the voices of Iowans. It is a stain on our democracy that the truth has not prevailed and my hope for the future is a return to decency and civility. 

I wish Mariannette Miller-Meeks all the best as she serves the people of this great state as Congresswoman. This has been a difficult process for all of those involved and it’s incredibly important that we work together to reform the system so this does not happen again in the future. 

Running to represent the people of Iowa’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I got in this race to listen to the people of the district and bring your voices of common sense and decency to Washington, D.C. We must work to end the partisan gridlock and deliver for the working people in Iowa who are struggling to make ends meet. 

To those who invested in this campaign — donating a few extra dollars they could spare or volunteering time — and to ALL of my supporters, my campaign team, and to my family, my children and grandchildren, and especially my husband Paul, thank you so much for your hope and passion. I could not have persevered on this journey without your tireless dedication and commitment.

I am a life-long Iowan and I will always work for a more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren. That won’t change regardless of this, or any, election. We have so much more to work for. I hope you all will stay involved and join me in working to make Iowa a better place for all.”

Rita Hart

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