Defeated Democrat Drops Bid to Have House Overturn Election, Hand Her a Seat in Congress


A defeated Democrat on Wednesday abruptly dropped her bid to have the House overturn her six-vote loss in an Iowa congressional race, abandoning what loomed as a long legal and political battle.

In a statement, Rita Hart blamed a “toxic campaign of political disinformation” that she said had “effectively silenced the voices of Iowans.”

She also congratulated Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, the Republican who won the November election and was seated when the new Congress began in January.

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After her loss was certified by a bipartisan panel of Iowa state officials, Hart asked the House to overturn her defeat.

She and her legal team said they had found 22 votes that hadn’t been counted that would have given her a victory.

While top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, supported Hart’s bid to have the House award the seat to her, a handful of others publicly expressed reluctance to support Hart’s claims.

Her challenge came after Democrats strongly opposed Donald Trump’s effort to have the courts and Congress overturn his presidential election defeat in states that had certified Joe Biden’s victory.

Miller-Meeks thanked Hart for her decision in a statement.

“I know how extremely difficult it is to lose an election, but for the people to have faith and confidence in the election system and Iowa laws, it was gracious of her to concede at this time,” Miller-Meeks said.

“Rita Hart and Nancy Pelosi finally heard what many Iowans told me today: Mariannette Miller-Meeks is the duly-elected Congresswoman serving Iowa’s Second Congressional District,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who appeared with Miller-Meeks in Iowa on Wednesday, said later in a written statement.

“Pelosi’s attempted power grab failed. And Iowans and America are better off because of it.”

Miller-Meeks defeated Hart by 47 votes initially, a margin that was trimmed to six votes after a recount demanded by Hart.

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Rather than pursuing her case in Iowa courts, Hart immediately asked the Democratic-controlled House to give her the seat, saying she wouldn’t have had adequate time to prepare a court challenge.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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