Rep. Miller-Meeks will seek reelection in 1st District

Iowa’s approved set of redistricting maps placed the Congressperson in the same district as Rep. Cindy Axne, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks will run in the 1st District.


Jerod Ringwald

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, announces she is seeking reelection in Iowa’s 1st congressional district during a press conference at Dahl Old Car Home in Davenport on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Miller-Meeks said a goal is to win by more than six votes in 2022 after defeating Rita Hart by a slim margin in the 2020 general election. (Jerod Ringwald/The Daily Iowan)

Natalie Dunlap and Rylee Wilson

DAVENPORT — U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, will run in Iowa’s newly drawn 1st Congressional District in 2022. She made her announcement on Wednesday morning. 

The newly drawn 1st District contains much of the current 2nd District that Miller-Meeks represents, including Johnson County. The maps put Miller-Meeks’ current address in the 3rd Congressional District with Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa.

RELATED: Reynolds signs redistricting maps

“The newly drawn 1st Congressional District encompasses the bulk of the current 2nd Congressional District and includes more than 85% of the constituents that I currently represent,” Miller-Meeks said in her announcement. “While Wapello County, where my current home is located, is not part of the new district, the counties that will become the new 1st Congressional District next year have been home to me for many reasons.”

Miller-Meeks is currently serving her first term in Congress after winning her seat by six votes in 2020. She spent 24 years in the Army as a private, nurse, and doctor and served as the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health from 2010 to 2014. She represented Senate District 41 for a partial term before resigning to serve in the U.S. Congress. 

At a Wednesday press conference in Davenport, Miller-Meeks did not provide any concrete plans as to if she will sell her home in Wapello County, and where she will relocate to. 

“I think that where my physical location is is less important than who I’m serving, and that the people in this district know I’m serving them. I have a very long relationship with people in the second district,” Miller-Meeks said. “I work with them, I’ve been with them, I’ve supported these businesses.” 

In Iowa, candidates can choose to run in any congressional district, as long as they reside in the state. 

Miller-Meeks said she and her husband made the final decision to run in the first district on Tuesday night. 

“[I had] no reservation to take on Cindy Axne in the 3rd congressional district, that would have been a smaller district,” Miller-Meeks said. “But given my long association and affiliation for me personally, I felt like I was betraying people who time and time again had voted for me, supported me, for whom I talked about, for whom I represented, and they finally got the person in Congress that represented them.” 

Bettendorf business owner Kyle Kuehl announced his intent to run as a Republican in the first district on Monday, challenging Miller-Meeks. 

Miller-Meeks said she looks forward to any primary challengers. 

“I’ve had a primary every single election I’ve ever had, so it’s not unknown to me to run against a primary challenger,” she said. “I think primaries make you stronger as a candidate and they force you to think about the election, because otherwise, people think they have more time.” 

State Rep. Christina Bohannan, D-Iowa City, is challenging Miller-Meeks in the new 1st Congressional District for the midterms. 

Miller-Meeks emphasized that she would fight for conservative values and go against President Joe Biden’s agenda in her next term.  

“I will never give up on Iowans, our future, the American dream, or the conservative values that have made our country the beacon of hope and freedom that it is,” she said. 

Bohannan said in a prepared statement responding to Miller-Meeks’ announcement that Bohannan has been meeting with voters in the district and hearing their concerns.

“It’s been an honor to hear from folks about the issues that matter most to them — including fixing our roads and bridges, creating good-paying jobs, supporting small business, and improving our education and health care,” she said.  “One thing is clear: Southeastern Iowans want a Congressional representative who values truth, integrity, and will put delivering results for the people of Iowa above divisive partisan politics.”