Former Democratic congressional candidate Rita Hart is conceding defeat to Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IO), bringing an end to her controversial effort to overturn the state-certified election results.
Hart confirmed that she had withdrawn her congressional challenge in a statement on Wednesday, Mediaite reported.
Hart wishes former rival “all the best”
The less-than-gracious concession statement from Hart maintained her position that she was actually the likely winner of the race but could not prove it because of “toxic disinformation” within the political realm.
“I wish Mariannette Miller-Meeks all the best as she serves the people of this great state as Congresswoman,” Hart said, according to Mediaite.
The Democrat officially lost the race to represent Iowa’s 2nd District by just six votes, but she maintained that the inclusion of 22 wrongfully excluded ballots would have been enough to secure her victory.
A bitter partisan fight ensued, drawing impassioned responses from leaders from both sides of the aisle.
For their part, many Republicans accused Democrats who supported Hart’s gambit of hypocrisy after opposing election-related challenges raised by former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of November’s presidential race.
“The truth has not prevailed”
Hart evidently reached the conclusion that her efforts would not result in unseating Miller-Meeks, though she continued to insinuate that she was the legitimate winner of the disputed election.
“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,” she said.
Hart went on to claim that the situation presented “a stain on our democracy” because “the truth has not prevailed,” insisting that she still holds out “hope” for a political future defined by “decency and civility.”
Republicans have overwhelmingly spoken out against Hart’s challenge and in defense of Miller-Meeks. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have rallied behind the Iowa Republican, accusing Democrats of attempting to deny her a rightfully earned seat in the House, as Fox News reports.
Prior to her Democratic opponent’s decision to curtail her efforts, Miller-Meeks insisted that Americans “should be outraged” by the move, declaring: “If six votes aren’t enough to win an election, then why are six members on a committee able to overturn an election?”