Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks expects her bid for a second term in the U.S. House to be among the most closely watched races in the country. Miller-Meeks won her first race in 2020 by a six-vote margin.
“I think that this election cycle will be different, both pros and cons. You have a congressional record — a voting record now that can be brought up, but you also have those things which you have achicved,” Miller-Meeks said Friday, “so I think given the things that I have done, I expect to be reelected and by a much larger margin that six votes.”
During her weekend appearance on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS, Miller-Meeks joked that her margin of victory would be “at least triple” what it was in 2020. Miller-Meeks also discussed running in the new first congressional district, where about 35% of registered voters are Democrats, 32% are Republicans and the rest are independents.
“I in no way think that this is going to be an easy reelect,” Miller-Meeks said. “It’s going to . I’m known to be a very strong campaigner. I’m known to be out and visiting with people and I will continue to do that.”
Miller-Meeks said she’s visited all 24 counties in Iowa’s current second congressional district four times since being sworn into office last January. Miller-Meeks said she decided to seek reelection in Iowa’s new first congressional because it covers most of the territory in her current district — but Miller-Meeks also considered running
in the district that includes Ottumwa, so she could keep representing her hometown.
“Wapello County was put into district three,” Miller-Meeks said. “…and so it was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make and finally came to the decision that I would run in the district which 80% of I currently represent.”
While there’s no requirement that members of congress live within the boundaries of the district they represent — they just have to live within the state — four of Iowa’s congressmen moved after district lines were redrawn in 2001 and 2011. Miller-Meeks, a Republican, won’t be selling her home in Ottumwa, but does plan to establish a residence in the new first district.
“I have a variety of housing options,” Miller-Meeks said. “I’ll be able to be in the district and live within the district.”
Miller-Meeks, who is an eye doctor, has worked at a clinic in Burlington she taught in the University of Iowa Medical School in the late 1990s. She may face a G-O-P Primary in 2022. Kyle Kuehl, a Bettendorf business owner, also announced his candidacy as a Republican in the new 1st District. Democrat Christina Bohannan, a University of Iowa Law School professor who’s a member of state legislature, announced earlier this year she intended to challenge Miller-Meeks in 2022.