Female GOP Candidate Expected To Win by 6 Votes After Recount, Taking Seat Last Held by a Democrat

In one of the tightest congressional elections of the year, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks has emerged with a six-vote lead in Iowa’s 2nd District, based on a recount that ended Saturday.

A state canvassing board meets Monday to certify the results. More than 394,000 votes were cast in the contest between Miller-Meeks and Democrat Rita Hart, according to Fox News.

“While the race is extraordinarily close, I am proud to have won this contest and look forward to being certified as the winner by the state’s Executive Council on Monday,” Miller-Meeks said in a statement. “It is the honor of a lifetime to be elected to serve the people of eastern and southern Iowa.”

Hart’s campaign manager, Zach Meunier, did not telegraph the campaign’s next move, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

“When we began this recount Rita Hart was down by 47 votes,” Meunier said. “As more ballots have been counted, the margin has narrowed dramatically and is now down to a mere 6 votes — making this the closest Congressional race in recent history, and one of the very closest in the last hundred years.

“Unfortunately, as this process continues, the Miller-Meeks campaign has sought to keep legitimate votes from being counted — pushing to disqualify and limit the number of Iowans whose votes are counted,” he said. “We will closely review what the county and state boards do on Monday with an eye toward making sure all Iowa voices are fully and fairly heard.”

After certification, the next step would likely be the Hart campaign taking the race to court.

The contest has had more than its share of post-election drama. Miller-Meeks had a 282-vote lead as of Nov. 4. Although she declared victory, a Nov. 6 recount gave Hart a 162-vote lead due to an initial error from one county in the district.

Four days later, another county recounted its votes, giving Miller-Meeks a 40-vote margin. Prior to Thanksgiving, her lead dropped to eight votes, before dropping even further on Saturday.

If the results hold, a victory for Miller-Meeks would cement a stunning reversal for Republicans. Democrats had three of Iowa’s four congressional seats going into the election and will emerge with only one. The seat Miller-Meeks appears to have won had been held by Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, who is retiring.

Nationally, Republicans flipped multiple seats held by Democrats, giving House Republicans new clout on Washington as the Democratic majority becomes exceedingly narrow. Miller-Meeks will join a group of about 20 Republican women in the House.

One race, the 22nd District in New York State, remains too close to call, with the differing numbers being reported daily that give either Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi a slight lead or give a narrow lead to former Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney.

Tenney won the 2016 election to represent the district but lost to Brindisi in 2018.

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Via The Federalist Papers