Failed Lt. Governor Candidate and State Senator Rita Hart lost her campaign against Mariannette Miller-Meeks to represent Iowa’s second district in Congress. Miller-Meeks was officially declared the winner Monday afternoon by the state canvassing board with a margin of 6 votes. However, today Hart announced that she will ask Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to examine the results of the race. Hart’s campaign has decided to forgo the additional legal options afforded to candidates and campaigns here in Iowa and instead go directly to Pelosi and the House Administration Committee in an attempt to allow more votes to be counted, thereby secure a seat in congress.
Miller-Meeks’ campaign attorney, Alan Ostergren, blasted the decision by Hart in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
“The Miller-Meeks for Congress campaign entered the recount process with a simple strategy: ensure that every Iowan who voted would be treated equally and have his or her vote counted. The campaign believed that a full machine recount throughout the district was the only way to ensure fair and equal treatment. Rita Hart has chosen to avoid Iowa’s judicial system because she knows that a fair, objective analysis of this election would show what we already know: Miller-Meeks won,” declared Ostergren.
“Rita Hart has chosen a political process controlled by Nancy Pelosi over a legal process controlled by Iowa judges. All Iowans should be outraged by this decision,” said Ostergren.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate also took issue with Hart’s decision to ask DC elites to overturn the election results, Noting that Hart has refused to pursue all of her legal options in Iowa and cutting Iowans out of the process.
“A bipartisan and transparent recount process in all 24 counties of the Second Congressional District confirmed Iowans elected Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Under Iowa law the deadline to contest the election is today. Iowans made their voices heard in record numbers, and in the event of a contested election they deserve to have the contest process decided by Iowa judges. The will of Iowa voters should not be overturned by partisan Washington, D.C. politicians.” said Secretary Pate
The State Canvassing Board has officially certified the results of the 2020 general election. We had record turnout of more than 1.7 million voters & 76% participation. The official result in #IA02 is @millermeeks 196,964 to @RitaHartIA 196,958. 6 vote difference. #BeAVoter pic.twitter.com/Rp4f6sHHTi
— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@IowaSOS) November 30, 2020
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann called the Hart-Pelosi effort Shameful.
“Instead of exhausting all legal options here in Iowa, once the votes were counted and she knew she lost, Rita Hart immediately ran to Speaker Pelosi to help her steal this seat from Iowans. Pelosi didn’t follow the rules of her state when she went to a hair salon during lockdown; she certainly isn’t going to follow our rules when it comes to Iowans electing our representatives,” Noted Kaufmann.
“This utterly shameful attempt to upend the will of the voters of the 2nd District will leave the very people Hart wished to represent voiceless in Washington, D.C. until this sham is sorted out. Instead, Hart should accept the certified votes and immediately concede the election,” he concluded.
Dave Wasserman, of the well respected Cook Political Report, took to Twitter to share opinions on the situation and cast doubt on Hart’s Chances for success.
Imo, it’s going to be tough for Rita Hart (D) to make the case the House should deny/delay seating Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) – the certified six-vote winner in #IA02 – at a time Dems are seeking to drive home the sanctity of states’ certification processes elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/XWweQFGZ46
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 2, 2020
In a statement to Iowa Field Report, Governor Kim Reynolds said Hart’s actions were an attempt to undermine the voices of the Iowans;
..If Rita Hart believes those results are wrong, then she had the opportunity to bring her case in an Iowa court. By heading straight to a Democratic-controlled Congress, Hart is attempting to undermine the voice of Iowans.” #IA02 2/2
— Iowa Field Report.com (@IAFieldReport) December 2, 2020