Iowa State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks claimed victory Tuesday evening in her campaign for the Republican nomination in the open second district US congressional seat.
I’d like to begin by thanking my fellow Republicans in this race, Tim Borchardt, Steve Everly, Rick Phillips and Bobby Schilling. Offering your name for public service and submitting yourself to a grueling campaign is not easy. We do it not for own ambitions but because we believe America is worth it. In the days ahead, I look forward to us working together and turning our focus to November. To their supporters whose vote I have yet to earn, I want you to know I expect to work hard to earn your support and trust.
When I started this campaign in October, I thought it would be about reforms to health care, economic opportunities, immigration, trade deals and fighting to keep the American Dream alive. But over its course, like you, we’ve encountered something unprecedented: a crippling pandemic. I’ve met with farmers, teachers, business owners and employees whose lives have been turned upside down because of a virus. Markets have disappeared, businesses and schools have closed and workers have become jobless. People’s dreams, years of hard work and savings have been wiped out and all parents have become homeschool teachers. To those who feel knocked down, counted out and have been told to give up, tonight’s win is for you.
Her main primary opponent was former Illinois congressman Bobby Schilling. While initially looked at by many political insiders as an also-ran, Schilling mounted a formidable campaign on a shoestring fundraising budget focused almost entirely on social conservative issues. He characterized Miller-Meeks soft on social conservative issues such as abortion and using old tweets, framed her as anti-Trump.
In a press conference on Tuesday evening, Miller-Meeks admitted the fact that it was a tough primary but that tough primaries make you a better candidate for the general. According to the Miller-Meeks campaign, Schilling called just before 10:30 pm on Tuesday evening to concede, congratulate her, and offered his full support for her race.
Schilling released the following statement:
I just called Mariannette Miller-Meeks to congratulate her on her victory.
I am proud of the campaign we ran. Tonight we came up short. That’s okay. I look forward to supporting both Donald Trump and Miller-Meeks in the fall. This campaign pushed our opponent to embrace a more pro-life position — Miller-Meeks has endorsed both the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Heartbeat bill in recent days. We also pushed her to the right on a number of different issues. That’s a win.
We also built an impressive grassroots army — despite the establishment coming in hard for my opponent, and despite her out-raising us by several hundred thousand dollars, we made this race very close. I’d like to thank my supporters, my friends, and my family for their wonderful dedication. These last couple weeks have been incredibly meaningful to me on a personal level. This isn’t the end. We’ll be back.
Miller-Meeks announced her campaign on October 1, 2019.Iowa’s second congressional district is currently seven-term Democrat Representative Dave Loebsack, who, last year announced that he is retiring at the end of this term. The district is rated a “toss-up” by Cook Political Report and “tilt-democratic” by Inside Elections.
The second congressional district is made up of twenty-four counties and covers most of southeastern Iowa. In 2012, the district voted for Barack Obama 56% to 43%. However, in the 2016 general, it swung back to support Donald Trump 49% to 44 % The Iowa second is one of 31 house seats that is held by a Democrat but carried by Trump in 2016
Miler-Meeks will take on former Lt Governor candidate Rita Hart. According to the pre-primary fundraising report as of May 13th, Hart, a former member of the Iowa Senate until 2019, had just shy of a million dollars cash on hand to use in the general according to the Federal Election commission.
Congratulations to state Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks on securing the GOP nomination in the second congressional district,” said Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann. “After over a decade of failed leadership from Dave Loebsack, it’s time to flip this district and elect an effective leader.
Rita Hart would simply be another Pelosi puppet — she supported the far-left’s baseless impeachment effort and attends fundraisers with Pelosi and her blue state billionaire allies. I’m excited to work with Senator Miller-Meeks to flip this seat in November.