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Election results 2022: Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks wins second term

Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks and Christina Bohannan, the 2022 candidates for the 1st Congressional District, are shown side by side in a split graphic.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks has been reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks has won a second term in Congress.

Miller-Meeks beat Democratic challenger Christina Bohannan, a University of Iowa law professor and state representative, to represent Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

She was first elected two years ago to Iowa’s then-2nd Congressional District, winning by just six votes following months of recounts.

Confetti falls on Miller-Meeks as she stands in front of a pulpit with campaign signage.
Natalie Krebs
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Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks celebrates her victory in Iowa's newly redrawn 1st District. Her 2022 win came much quicker than when she was first elected to Congress in 2020 — a race she ended up winning by just six votes.

On Tuesday, Miller-Meeks won by a more significant margin - seven percentage points - in a new district following the redrawing of congressional district maps from the 2020 Census.

The new map pushed Miller-Meeks to move from her home in Wapello County, now in Iowa’s 3rd District, to Scott County in order to be able to run to represent southeastern Iowa for a second term.

Republicans have a commitment to America... an economy that is strong, once again energy independent, and stop ramping government spending, which will bring down inflation.
Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks

At her campaign event at the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport late Tuesday night, Miller-Meeks focused on inflation and said she would hold the Biden administration and its policies “accountable.”

“You all deserve so much more, all Iowans, all Americans deserve so much more than what the dominant majority party has delivered to us,” she said. “You deserve to be able to put food on your table and not worry if you have to not pay something else or delay a bill.”

Miller-Meeks also promised to address immigration at the southern border, investigate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and opposed policies to defund the police.

But most of her comments focused on the economy, and she reiterated many points she made along her campaign trail.

“Republicans have a commitment to America,” she said, “an economy that is strong, once again energy independent, and stop ramping government spending, which will bring down inflation.”

Election Results

U.S. House Balance of Power

1st Congressional District

The new 1st Congressional District looks very similar to the old 2nd Congressional District, minus six southern counties. It also now includes Warren, Iowa, Jones and Jackson counties. The district numbering has changed in the latest redistricting process - the 1st district had covered Northeastern Iowa.

A map of Iowa is shown outlining the new Congressional Districts.
A map of the new congressional districts, which candidates are racing to represent in the 2022 election.

The 1st District candidates

State Rep. Christina Bohannan

Democratic candidate and state Rep. Christina Bohannan is a law professor at the University of Iowa who has served as the representative for the 85th district in the Iowa House since 2021.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks currently represents Iowa's 2nd Congressional District. She also served as a state senator for the 41st district from 2019 to 2021. In 2020, Miller-Meeks ran against Rita Hart and won by a margin of six votes, one of the closest federal elections in U.S. history. While redistricting cut her hometown of Ottumwa out of the new district, Miller-Meeks is favored to win the 2022 race.

The issues

On Inflation

The annual rate of inflation for the United States is 8.3% for the last year, according to U.S. Labor Department data. This is hitting Iowans in the grocery store and at the pump, and it’s expected to hit Democrats, the party in power, as they try to maintain control of the House this November.

For Miller-Meeks, the solution starts with energy costs. At a Sep. 26 debate hosted by Iowa PBS, she recommended reopening the Keystone pipeline and increasing the number of federal land leases for oil production. She argued getting energy prices down now would have spillover effects across the economy.

Bohannan also looked to fuel prices but was focused on the industry setting the prices. Despite historic profits of oil and gas companies, the national average price of gas reached $4.45 per gallon, a record high.

Bohannan said she supported the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, which Miller-Meeks opposed. The bill’s proponents argue empowering the Federal Trade Commission to investigate potential instances of price gouging would dis-incentivize oil companies from limiting production to artificially boost prices. While it cleared the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill has not passed the Senate.

On Abortion

While both candidates have described their bipartisanship, their views on abortion vary greatly.

During the Iowa PBS debate, Miller-Meeks mentioned that she opposed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have restored the right to abortion enshrined in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case recently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. She specifically opposed late-term abortions, which the bill allows for in instances when a mother’s life is in danger. However, federal and state data show abortions after 21 weeks are uncommon, representing 1% of all abortions in the U.S.

Bohannan criticized Miller-Meeks for cosponsoring the Life at Conception Act, which would be a total ban on abortion. Miller-Meeks says she supports exceptions for when the life of the mother is in danger or in cases of rape and incest.

Miller-Meeks was asked about her support for a bill by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, to federally ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Like Graham, Miller-Meeks echoed the idea that 15 weeks polls well and is "the point where a fetus feels pain." There is no scientific consensus on whether or when a fetus can feel pain.

On the Environment: CO2 pipelines

Archer Daniels Midland Company, known as ADM, is partnering with Wolf Carbon Solutions on a carbon capture pipeline to transport carbon from ethanol plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton to ADM sequestration sites in central Illinois.

Like previous CO2 pipeline projects, they are controversial for residents, particularly landowners who happen to be in areas identified in preliminary maps of the project.

During the debate, Miller-Meeks said she supported these projects because they extended the viability of the ethanol industry, which props up Iowa corn prices, although opposes the use of eminent domain.

Bohannan said she opposed carbon pipeline projects because of her opposition to the use of eminent domain.

On Health Care: Prescription drug prices

A provision of the Inflation Reduction Act requires the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the price of at least 50 brand-name drugs without generic competitors. That reduced price would then be available to both Medicare and private payers.

Bohannan attacked Miller-Meeks for not supporting the policy.

Miller-Meeks, an ophthalmologist, has been a critic of the government negotiating prices with drug manufacturers and of attempts to cap prices for certain medications. She said she is concerned about the impact on innovation in new research and development.

“There are other ways to bring down drug cost rather than negotiating or price caps. And I think that it's valid to look at those. It's valid to have a conversation, to have a bipartisan discussion, over how is it best to bring down drug prices, where we still have innovation, we still have new drugs, we still have new cures.”

While concerned about caps, Miller-Meeks broke ranks with Iowa House Republican U.S. Reps. Ashley Hinson and Randy Feenstra to support the Affordable Insulin Now Act. The bill capped the cost of insulin at $35 for a monthly supply under Medicare and private health insurance.