Iowa Republican congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks became the representative-elect of the state’s 2nd District Monday after a state board certified the results of her race – putting her ahead by just six votes out of nearly 400,000 cast.
The race between Miller-Meeks and Democratic candidate Rita Hart was the closet federal election in the country this cycle. The board’s certification ends a multi-week process that saw Hart gaining as mail-in ballots were counted, though Hart will likely challenge the results, according to the Des Moines Register.
“I will never quit fighting for you and your opportunity at the American Dream!” Miller-Meeks tweeted Monday night.
The tally now stands at 196,964 votes for Miller-Meeks and 196,958 votes for Hart.
“I think that reason alone reinforces that every vote counts and can make a difference,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said during the board’s meeting.
In a statement, Hart’s campaign said that they were pursuing “next steps.”
“Under Iowa law, this recount process was designed to count ballots that had already been tallied, meaning that additional legal ballots may have yet to be counted,” said Zach Meunier, Hart’s campaign manager. “Over the next few days, we will outline our next steps in this process to ensure that all Iowans’ voices are heard.”
Hart has until Wednesday to officially take any action regarding the race’s results. If it does, then a contest court will be convened according to state law, which would rule on the race by Dec. 8, according to the Register.
If Hart’s challenges fail, Miller-Meeks will succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack.
The state board also certified the results of its presidential election, which showed President Donald Trump beating President-elect Joe Biden by just over eight points.