Democrat Rita Hart is no longer challenging the outcome of her race against Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
State-certified results showed Hart finishing six votes behind Miller-Meeks, out of more than 400,000 cast in Iowa’s second congressional district. Hart filed a petition with the U.S. House Committee on Administration, arguing at least 22 legally cast ballots had not been included in the district-wide recount in November.
Hart this afternoon announced that “after many conversations with people she trusts,” she made the decision to end the contest. Hart said there’s been “a toxic drumbeat of political disinformation” about the review process and Hart’s calling for reform of Iowa’s recount process in close races like hers to ensure lawfully cast votes aren’t excluded in the future.
Hart, in a written statement, said having the race be in limbo has been “difficult for all involved” and she wished Miller-Meeks all the best as she continues to serve Iowans.
Some moderate Democrats in the U.S House had been publicly expressing concern about Hart’s challenge. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was in Davenport earlier today, holding events with Miller-Meeks to highlight GOP criticism of Hart’s challenge.
Miller-Meeks issued a statement late this afternoon, thanking Hart for her decision. Miller-Meeks, who lost three previous races for congress, said she knows “how extremely difficult it is to lose an election.” Miller-Meeks said Hart’s “gracious” concession “boosts faith and confidence in the election system and Iowa laws.”