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KWWL Political Analyst reacts to Hart withdrawing election challenge

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - Democrat Rita Hart withdrew her federal election challenge for Iowa's second congressional district Wednesday, ending a nearly five-month spectacle for who would hold the seat.

Dr. Chris Larimer, professor of Political Science and coordinator for the Master of Public Policy program at UNI, believes Democrats may have been playing the long game so to speak. Essentially, conceding the six-vote margin of victory to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks would lead to more trust in the election system.

"The concern was that this would disrupt their chances to shape the narrative they wanted for the 2022 midterm elections," Larimer said.

The Miller-Meeks campaign has been claiming Rita Hart pulled a shady, back door move by bringing an election challenge to the U.S. House Administration Committee, instead of going through the Iowa courts system.

"You or I, ordinary citizens, if we had a grievance, we'd have to go to through court to settle that grievance. We couldn't go to a member of congress and say, 'You know, I didn't like the results they counted,'" Miller-Meeks said to reporters at an event in Davenport Wednesday, hours before Hart withdrew her challenge.

Hart's lawyers have said they couldn't meet the state filing deadline of December 8, 2020 and thus the federal route was the only one for them to present a full case.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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