In a humiliating defeat for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and amid bipartisan opposition to the plan, former Democratic congressional candidate Rita Hart has dropped her challenge to state-certified election results that declared her GOP rival the winner by a narrow margin, according to reports.
The race to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District was won by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), who received just six votes more than Hart after a recount and audit of the race — but the Democrat pleaded her case to the House of Representatives in a last-ditch bid to overturn the results.
“Will continue beyond this campaign”
Speaker Pelosi had shown signs of support in Hart’s effort despite spending months deriding former President Donald Trump and his allies for questioning the validity of November’s presidential election returns.
The losing candidate issued a statement this week explaining why she called off the controversial plan, writing: “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.”
Despite her tacit concession of the race to Miller-Meeks, Hart went on to express sadness “that some Iowans’ votes will not count through no fault of their own,” adding that the “work of ensuring it does not happen again will continue beyond this campaign.”
Although the seat is now securely in GOP control, Miller-Meeks is nonetheless upset over the entire ordeal. Pelosi’s remarks on the topic raised more than a few eyebrows — particularly when she declared that it was her “right” as House speaker to seat any candidate she wants in Congress.
“If I wanted to be unfair I wouldn’t have seated the Rep from Iowa because that was my right on the opening day,” she said last week. “I would have just said, you’re not seated, and that would have been my right as Speaker to do.”
“To dictate the outcome of elections”
In a recent Fox News interview, Miller-Meeks expressed her frustration, asserting: “Everybody across the country should be outraged by this. I certainly have been encouraged by those people across the country who have reached out to me and told me they’re contacting their representatives to let them know their displeasure.”
The Republican did strike a diplomatic tone when discussing her former rival’s decision to drop the challenge, however, explaining that she understands “how extremely difficult it is to lose an election, but for the people to have faith and confidence in the election system and Iowa laws, it was gracious of her to concede at this time.”
Although Democrats came precariously close to voting on a measure to overturn a state-certified election, some members of the party were decidedly opposed to the ploy.
Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), for example, said that lawmakers “should be heeding states’ certifications of their elections,” arguing that without credible and compelling evidence, she does not “believe it is the role of House members to dictate the outcome of elections,” reports noted.
Many elected Democrats, however, have opened themselves up to allegations of hypocrisy in light of their reaction to Trump’s election-related challenges. When voting in next year’s midterm elections, Republican and independent voters are sure to remember the way Democrats attempted to overrule the will of the people.