Wednesday, December 2, 2020

"It is worth noting that in the 2020 election, every single seat Republicans took away from the Democrats was won by a woman or a nonwhite candidate.

 From The American Conservative and Salena Zito (Full article AT LINK)


 "If you want to know how the Republican Party elected a bunch of women to the U.S. House, it was because a bunch of Republican women worked very hard to get themselves elected, relentlessly pursuing and earning the support of the voters in their districts despite scant attention by the press and sometimes even by members of their own party.

No one exemplified that relentless pursuit better than Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who was certified on Monday afternoon, becoming the first woman to earn the support of voters to represent the 2nd Congressional District in Iowa.

It was a win that came after Miller-Meeks's three failed attempts for the seat since 2008. She persisted, she said, because persisting has been her motto all of her life and not a catchphrase or campaign slogan.

“I'm one of eight kids,” she said in an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner. "My father was a master sergeant in [the] Air Force, so we traveled around a lot with his career."

Miller-Meeks won her seat by six votes, proof, she said, that no one should ever sit home as if their vote doesn’t matter.

“I used to say my state senator won by 10 votes — every vote counts," she told me. "The mayor in one of the towns in my congressional district and in my state Senate district was decided by drawing the name out of the hat because it was tied. So, it really is important to show up.”

Miller-Meeks laughed recalling emails she’s received from people who calculate their family was the one that put her over the top. “They are not wrong, actually," she said. "Anyone could have been one of those six votes that put me over the top.”

Her Democratic rival, Rita Hart, in the open contest to succeed seven-term Democratic Rep. David Loebsack, could either choose to concede the race or contest the election further.

In 1984, in one of the closest congressional races in history, Republican Rick McIntyre and Democratic Rep. Frank McCloskey of Indiana ended up in a tie. The Republican secretary of state declared McIntyre the winner. But Washington Democrats bristled, and the Democrat-controlled U.S. House refused to seat him. Both men, for a while, drew congressional pay. Months of recounting led to the Tip O’Neill-controlled House voting to declare McCloskey the winner. When he was seated, the entire GOP House delegation walked out of the Capitol in protest.

Miller-Meeks lost to Loebsack in the 2008, 2010, and 2014 general elections, but she hasn't been idle in the time since. She served as the Iowa director of public health in 2013, when she described a viral pandemic from overseas as the greatest threat to Iowa. She also ran and won a state Senate seat in 2018.

While Miller-Meeks could easily be the poster child for the big year for Republican women just had in the House, she’s not the only one who had to keep trying. Both Rep.-elect Maria Elvira Salazar in Florida and Rep. Young Kim in California ran and lost in 2018; all three ran and lost getting tied to President Trump that year, but then, all three ran and won with Trump at the top of the ticket in 2020.

It is worth noting that in the 2020 election, every single seat Republicans took away from the Democrats was won by a woman or a nonwhite candidate.

Unlike their Democratic counterparts, who made history just four years ago with their own historic female wave of House victories, Miller-Meeks is doubtful there will be a sea of white fashion statement when they attend their first State of the Union address.

She is also doubtful that she and her female congressional peers will be written about in the same glamorous way that class was. But she is OK with that.

“I think that's because we see ourselves beyond our sex, that we're a party that values what made America the exceptional nation that it is. That you use your talents and through merit, you can achieve anything. We are women, but we're accomplished women. We've earned the right to be here, and we'll make a difference.”

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