Democrat Rita Hart launches bid for Dave Loebsack’s seat in Congress

Democrat Rita Hart announced Tuesday she will run for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District seat in Congress.

Rita+Hart+speaks+at+the+Democratic+Gala+on+Saturday%2C+October+6%2C+2018.+Hart+is+the+State+Sen.+of+the+49th+district+but+is+hoping+to+be+elected+as+Lieutenant+Governor.+%28Thomas+A.+Stewart%2F+Daily+Iowan%29
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Democrat Rita Hart launches bid for Dave Loebsack’s seat in Congress

Rita Hart speaks at the Democratic Gala on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Hart is the State Sen. of the 49th district but is hoping to be elected as Lieutenant Governor. (Thomas A. Stewart/ Daily Iowan)

Rita Hart speaks at the Democratic Gala on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Hart is the State Sen. of the 49th district but is hoping to be elected as Lieutenant Governor. (Thomas A. Stewart/ Daily Iowan)

Thomas A. Stewart

Rita Hart speaks at the Democratic Gala on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Hart is the State Sen. of the 49th district but is hoping to be elected as Lieutenant Governor. (Thomas A. Stewart/ Daily Iowan)

Thomas A. Stewart

Thomas A. Stewart

Rita Hart speaks at the Democratic Gala on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Hart is the State Sen. of the 49th district but is hoping to be elected as Lieutenant Governor. (Thomas A. Stewart/ Daily Iowan)

Julia Shanahan, Politics Reporter

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Rita Hart, former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and former state senator from Clinton county, launched her campaign for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday.

Hart, who has owned a farm near Wheatland with her husband for more than 30 years, said in a press release that she plans on bringing “common-sense values to Congress.”

Hart said in an announcement video on Twitter that she plans to run a grassroots campaign and, being a farmer, said she understands the problems facing rural Iowa.

“I want to make sure that Iowa works for all of us,” Hart said in the video. “Rural, urban, Republican, Democrat, independent.”

Hart taught in the Calamus-Wheatland and Bennett Community school districts before running for a state senate seat in 2012.

The only other candidate so far to announce a run for Iowa’s 2nd congressional district is Osceola Mayor and history teacher Thomas Kedley.

Iowa City business owner Veronica Tessler also filed for candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission, but she withdrew her bid on May 3, saying in a Facebook post that she wants to devote more time to her businesses.

Tessler owns Yotopia, an Iowa City frozen yogurt chain, and is also a co-founder and co-owner of Maker’s Loft and a producer on the Iowa podcast Political Party Live.

Iowa Sen. Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, said he was considering a run for Iowa’s 2nd district at an April political panel in Davenport, but he has not made an official bid. Wahls tweeted in April that Hart would have his full support if she decided to officially run.

Hart campaigned unsuccessfully as lieutenant governor in 2018 with former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell. There was speculation around Hart’s announcement weeks prior to her official bid. Blogsite Iowa Starting Line noticed in April that Hart changed her Twitter handle from @Hart4Senate to @RitaHartIA.

Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, announced on April 12 that he would be not running for reelection in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. He was first elected in 2007, and will retire in 2020.

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