Loebsack maintains U.S. House seat


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Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, beat his Republican challenger by 6 percentage points Tuesday in what was expected to be a dead-heat race.

With 300 of 313 precincts reporting at midnight, Loebsack had secured slightly more than 51 percent of the vote; challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks had 45.7 percent. It was a gap of 12,231 votes.

“We have many challenges that we must tackle as a state and as a country — that includes working to bring good-paying jobs and projects that boost economic development into the region,” Loebsack said in a statement. “I am proud to represent the 2nd District of Iowa and am humbled by the voters’ decision to re-elect me.”

In Johnson County, Loebsack won by 27 percent, earning 31,623 votes to Miller-Meeks’ 17,837.

Loebsack said he will continue to focus on issues such as the health-care reform, the stimulus, and higher education.

Dennis Roseman, the chairman of the Johnson County Democrats, said Loebsack’s win is an example of the Democrats’ strength in Iowa, and he has “really believed in him” since the beginning.

“Loebsack is the one we care about here,” Roseman said. “But I think Iowa has shown Democratic strength, so we are proud of that. We hate to lose the governorship, because that is so important, but what can you do?”

Miller-Meeks said she saw her loss more as “not being able to achieve a victory.” Surrounded by family and friends, she said she is feeling fine.

“We will continue to do what it is we do best, and that is taking a risk,” she said. “Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we don’t, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying.”

Bob Anderson, the chairman of the Johnson County Republicans, said those at the group’s watch party at Kinnick Stadium were intense as the vote fluctated throughout the night. Seeing Miller-Meeks lose was a huge disappointment, he said.

“It’s obviously a disappointment because all of the people in attendance here from both Johnson and Linn Counties who are here tonight at this event have been very committed to Miller-Meeks as a candidate and also as a person,” he said. “Emotionally, as well as politically, we have all been in her corner and working in support of her campaign.”

The University of Iowa College Republicans experienced a big let-down as well. Natalie Ginty, the chairwoman of the organization, said it was an “uphill battle the entire time.”

She said she thinks Loebsack will not accomplish necessary things for issues in the state of Iowa to improve.

“Everything he is doing is not in the best interest of the 2nd District of Iowa,” she said.

The UI Democrats could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.

Loebsack said in his statement that he will continue to work on his initiatives immediately.

“I look forward to continuing my bipartisan work on behalf of Iowa families, small businesses, seniors, and farmers,” he said.

And to Roseman, Loebsack’s re-election is a good sign for the county.

“The bottom line is Johnson County Democrats came through strong,” he said.

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