IA-02 voters likely to elect a woman in 2020

Before this year, no woman had ever represented Iowa in the U.S. House. But after the 2020 general election, women may represent three out of the state’s four Congressional districts.

U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer’s likely Republican challenger in IA-01 is State Representative Ashley Hinson. Representative Cindy Axne has at least even odds to win a second term against presumptive Republican nominee David Young. And the latest campaign finance reports point to a general election match-up between State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks and former State Senator Rita Hart in the second district.

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Is door closing for other Republican candidates in IA-02?

State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks announced on October 7 that former Governor Terry Branstad has endorsed her candidacy in Iowa’s second Congressional district. A statement quoting the former governor and his son Eric Branstad is at the end of this post. Branstad named Miller-Meeks to lead the Iowa Department of Public Health when he took office in 2011, and she served in that role for a little more than three years.

Miller-Meeks, who was the Republican nominee in IA-02 three times previously, has been unofficially campaigning for months but only formally launched last week. The other declared GOP candidate is former U.S. Representative Bobby Schilling.

Although there is plenty of time for other contenders to announce–Miller-Meeks kicked off her 2014 campaign less than a month before the filing deadline–the signal from Branstad could discourage other Republicans from seeking this seat.

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Exclusive: Iowa Democrats recall first Congressional vote on Hyde amendment

Forty-three years ago this week, Congress overrode a presidential veto to enact an appropriations bill containing the first ban on federal funding for abortion. Republican U.S. Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois had proposed language prohibiting Medicaid coverage of abortion during House debate on what was then called the Health, Education, and Welfare budget. Ever since, the policy has been known as the “Hyde amendment.”

Four Iowans who served in Congress at the time spoke to Bleeding Heartland this summer about their decisions to oppose the Hyde amendment and the political context surrounding a vote that had long-lasting consequences.

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IA-02: Strengths and weaknesses of GOP candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks

State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks made her candidacy in Iowa’s second Congressional district official today after several months of “exploring” the race. The terrain is familiar to the GOP nominee who faced U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack in 2008, 2010, and 2014.

A few thoughts about her prospects in the Republican primary, where she will face former U.S. Representative Bobby Schilling, and a general election against likely Democratic nominee Rita Hart:

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Grassley, Ernst are fine with Trump diverting military funds for border wall

For the second time this year, the U.S. Senate has approved a resolution terminating the national emergency President Donald Trump declared in February in order to start building a border wall without Congressional authorization. Eleven Republicans joined all Democrats present in the September 25 vote (roll call). The rest of the GOP caucus, including Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, voted against it.

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