Republicans officially claim final disputed House seat after Democrat Hart withdraws

by Peter Heck · Apr 1st, 2021 12:23 pm
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Last Updated Apr 2nd, 2021 at 11:47 am

The last disputed House seat from the 2020 election cycle has now been decided after Democrat Rita Hart withdrew her challenge to Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican physician who squeaked out an electoral victory by six votes.

With Hart's concession, the closest Congressional race in a century finished with Miller-Meeks receiving 196,964 votes to Hart's 196,958.

In announcing her decision to withdraw, Hart offered best wishes to Miller-Meeks but made clear she did not think justice prevailed.

"I am saddened that some Iowans' votes will not count through no fault of their own," Hart said. "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," the former candidate continued.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi had worked with Hart to keep her challenge in front of the House of Representatives. Following Hart's announcement, Iowa's senior Republican Senator Chuck Grassley took a shot at what he saw as the Speaker's attempt to steal the congressional seat.

"Midwest common sense has again prevailed over party politics in Washington. Speaker Pelosi appeared poised to reverse the election results in Iowa's Second Congressional District, never mind that Rep. Miller-Meeks' victory was reviewed multiple times and ultimately certified by Iowa's bipartisan election board," Grassley commented. "Rita Hart did the right thing today by withdrawing her request that Washington partisans overrule the voices of 400,000 Iowans. Going down this road would have seriously damaged faith in our elections, which is why many in Pelosi's own party expressed concern with such a blatant power grab."


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