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Rita Hart says she's 'saddened' but wishes Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks 'all the best'
Democrat Rita Hart has withdrawn her request for the U.S. House of Representatives to toss out her narrow but certified loss to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
What are the details?
Hart lost by only six votes to Miller-Meeks in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District race last November, and the state certified the election results. But the Democrat cried foul, claiming the race was essentially stolen.
The Hill reported:
Hart had presented her challenge to the House Administration Committee, saying that 22 ballots that were not counted should have been part of the tally. The panel's investigation could eventually have led to a vote on the House floor on whether to seat Hart despite an earlier decision by Iowa's election board.
But now, Hart has alleviated Democrats from taking that vote, after the party roundly condemned Republicans who joined former President Donald Trump in questioning the outcome of his loss against President Joe Biden.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had warned that Democrats were seeking to "steal" the Iowa race from Miller-Meeks, and accused them of "hypocrisy" for challenging the election of a duly-elected Republican congresswoman while denouncing Trump's challenges.
In a statement released Wednesday, Hart wrote, "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."
She added that she was "saddened that some Iowans' votes will not count through no fault of their own."
The Democrat also extended her well-wishes to Miller-Meeks before acknowledging, "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."
What was the reaction?
In reaction to Hart withdrawing her request, House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) told The Hill, "Glad to see Rita Hart do the right thing and withdraw her objection. It had to be a difficult decision."
Davis added, "I am still bewildered that Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi even envisioned a scenario that removed the certified winner in Iowa's Second District, Congresswoman Miller-Meeks."
Ahead of Hart's announcement, McCarthy tweeted, "The votes in #IA02 were counted, recounted, and certified unanimously by the bipartisan Canvassing Board. @RepMMM won. Period. Pelosi's Power Grab would disenfranchise voters in Iowa and remove an army veteran, doctor, and public health expert from Congress."
Afterward, he posted a picture of himself and Miller-Meeks both smiling.
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