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Democrat Rita Hart withdraws challenge in congressional race

Democrat Rita Hart has withdrawn her challenge to Republican Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ victory in Iowa’s second congressional district. 

The House had been reviewing Hart’s case, after Hart contested Miller-Meeks’ six-vote victory out of nearly 400,000 votes cast in the race. Miller-Meeks’ victory has already been certified by state officials. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s acceptance of the challenge in Iowa’s second district has been criticized by a member of her own party, Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota. Phillips said overturning the election would be “painful” for the country. 

“After many conversations with people I trust about the future of this contest, I have made the decision to withdraw my contest before the House Committee on Administration,” Hart said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “Since Election Day, and throughout this entire process, my mission has been about ensuring the voices of Iowans who followed the law are not silence. I am saddened that Iowans’ votes will not count through no fault of their own.” 

Hart said she wishes her opponent “all the best as she serves the people of this great state as a congressman.” 

Miller-Meeks’ work to hold onto her seat was backed by Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy visited Iowa last week, in an attempt to boost support for her. 

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