Government

Joni Ernst endorses Miller-Meeks in 2nd District GOP primary race

GOP challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks debates Rep. Dave Loebsack (D/2) on IPTV's Iowa Press debate series at City High
GOP challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks debates Rep. Dave Loebsack (D/2) on IPTV's Iowa Press debate series at City High School in Iowa City on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — In the race for the GOP nomination in Iowa’s 2nd District, State Sen, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa has won the endorsement of United States Sen. Joni Ernst.

“Mariannette Miller-Meeks is a fighter and someone you know you can count on when things get tough,” Ernst said.

“She served our country with distinction during 24 years in the Army and Army Reserves, as well as our state in leadership roles, Ernst said about her fellow military veteran.

She called Miller-Meeks “a strong voice for Iowans” and in Congress will be someone “they can count on to work on the issues that matter to them” — jobs, trade, cutting government spending, reducing taxes, and more affordable and accessible health care.

Miller-Meeks faces former Illinois congressman and Le Claire businessman Bobby Schilling. The Republican nominee will face the winner of a Democratic primary race between Newman Abuissa of Iowa City and Rita Hart of Wheatland.

Both party’s primaries are in June.

It will be an open-seat race because Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack of Iowa City is retiring.

Former Gov. Terry Branstad, now the ambassador to China, also has endorsed Miller-Meeks.

Ernst, a former state senator, is the first woman elected to federal office from Iowa and the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the U.S. up for reelection this year, she serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Armed Services; Environment and Public Works; Judiciary; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees.

Ernst said Miller-Meeks energizes voters with her enthusiasm, determination and her commitment to continuing to improve their lives.

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Both parties are targeting the race. The National Republican Congressional Committee added Miller-Meeks to its Young Guns program that mentors and supports candidates.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has placed Iowa’s 2nd District in its “Red to Blue” program, which provides support to Democratic candidates in competitive districts in the form of resources, strategic guidance and staff training.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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