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Iowa Candidate Accepts Loss by 6 Votes

Republicans were beginning to go after other Democrats over the issue
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2021 6:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – In the face of GOP threats to go after at-risk Democrats in races around the country, Rita Hart has withdrawn a challenge of her six-vote loss last November to Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. A recount of the almost 400,000 ballots had confirmed Miller-Meeks' victory, the closest US race since 1974. A bipartisan state panel then unanimously certified the 2nd Congressional District results before Hart asked for a review by the US House, the Des Moines Register reports. A lawyer for Miller-Meeks said Hart should have followed precedent by taking the matter to Iowa's courts first. Hart's campaign maintained that 22 ballots were cast legally but not counted.

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"Despite our best efforts to have every vote counted, the reality is that the toxic campaign of political disinformation to attack this constitutional review of the closest congressional contest in 100 years has effectively silenced the voices of Iowans," Hart said in a statement Wednesday, per KCRG. Republicans had publicly called her challenge an attempt to steal the election and begun running commercials this week tying Rep. Cindy Axne, the state's only Democrat in Congress, to the issue. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy went to Iowa on Wednesday to back Miller-Meeks and criticize Hart. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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