Democrat Rita Hart has announced that she will be filing a petition with the House Administration Committee to challenge the results of Iowa's 2nd congressional district race. Why should this alarm Republicans? Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks clearly won the race, not Rita Hart. You read that right... House Democrats are trying to take advantage of their majority to seat the loser of the Iowa-2 congressional race over the rightful winner.
Although Miller-Meeks was victorious by a razor-thin margin, the race has already undergone a recount. Additionally, Hart opted not to pursue the avenues available to her to challenge the race in Iowa's state court system. As former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad pointed out:
Hart didn’t trust Iowa’s process. Rather, she skipped over Iowa’s impartial judiciary and picked a Washington, D.C., political process. She says she is going to contest the election result in the U.S. House of Representatives. Instead of a panel of Iowa judges hearing her case, she will present it to a partisan committee. This is not the rule of law. It is the rule of power. If Nancy Pelosi wants to shove aside the person elected by Iowans, she can do it.
House Admin Ranking Member Rodney Davis condemned the plan to challenge Miller-Meeks' victory:
The people of Iowa’s 2nd District have spoken, and after a thorough recount by the bipartisan recount boards in each county, Iowa’s State Board of Canvass has certified Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks as the winner. Rita Hart had the opportunity to object to the State’s certification, but did not do so, likely because it was clear she could not win. Now, national Democrats are trying to sidestep Iowans by filing a federal objection to maximize Speaker Pelosi’s currently razor-thin majority. Despite this objection, I remain confident that Dr. Miller-Meeks and the people of Iowa’s 2nd District will prevail.
The people of #IA02 elected Rep-elect Dr. Miller-Meeks to Congress and she has the state election certificate to prove it. Speaker Pelosi should seat her on January 3rd. pic.twitter.com/3gl3Bqs2KW— House Admin. Committee GOP (@HouseAdmnGOP) December 10, 2020
Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have also spoken out against the planned challenge:
"Both the original vote count and recount confirmed Mariannette Miller-Meeks won her election. There are legal avenues through which candidates can litigate election disputes if they believe there are specific election irregularities," the Iowa Republicans said. "Rita Hart declined to take legitimate legal action in Iowa courts and instead chose to appeal to Washington partisans who should have no say in who represents Iowans."
Republicans (and even some Democrats) want to avoid a repeat of what is known as the "Bloody Eighth," where House Democrats took advantage of their majority to seat the loser of an Indiana congressional race:
Congress rarely intervenes in tight races, but in 1984, an Indiana congressional race in the state’s 8th District had Democrat Rep. Frank McCloskey leading Republican Rick McIntyre by 72 votes on election night. After two state recounts, though, McIntyre led McCloskey by margins of 34 and 418 votes.
Following the Democratic-controlled House-sponsored recount, a committee led by two Democrats and one Republican voted to accept that McCloskey defeated McIntyre by four votes out of the 230,000 ballots cast in the 1984 November election cycle.
Republicans charged that the panel of two Democrats and one Republican, which directed the recount, followed rigged rules during the counting.
📺Ranking Member @RodneyDavis joins @seanspicer & @LyndsayMKeith on @newsmax to discuss why House Democrats should seat Rep-elect Dr. Miller-Meeks and avoid a repeat of the "Bloody Eighth." https://t.co/1lcvJj90up— House Admin. Committee GOP (@HouseAdmnGOP) December 10, 2020
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy has pointed out how out of line the "Bloody Eighth" was and how it should never happen again:
The Bloody Eighth of Indiana where power corrupts absolutely? Where they took away the voice of the American public who voted for an individual and the Democrats sitting in the House decided who won and lost?... Let's hope it does not come to that. That should never return itself ever in this country.
The bottom line is, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks is the rightful winner of IA-2 and should be seated by Speaker Pelosi on January 3rd.