In 2008, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks turned a lot of heads when she defeated a well-known Cedar Rapids businessman to win the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. However, she was unsuccessful in limiting Congressman Dave Loebsack to just one term. Loebsack defeated Miller-Meeks by more than 56,000 votes in what turned out to be an incredible year for Democrats nationwide.
Today, Miller-Meeks is traveling across the 15-county congressional district on her “Let’s Make History” tour as she announces that she will once again be a candidate for Congress. Accompanying Miller-Meeks will be a familiar face, Barbara Grassley, the wife of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley. Both Grassleys were very helpful to Miller-Meeks in her first campaign. They toured the district with Miller-Meeks and headlined fundraising events for her campaign after the primary in 2008.
In addition to the support of Barbara Grassley, Miller-Meeks has also secured the services of Eric Woolson to head up the communication effort for her campaign. Woolson, who also occupies a similar role for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, was an integral part of Miller-Meeks’ 2008 campaign.
In her 2010 quest to unseat Congressman Loebsack, Miller-Meeks will enjoy a number of advantages that she didn’t have in her 2008 campaign. Having been the Republican nominee, Miller-Meeks has made herself better known than she was at this time in 2007. Additionally, she has built and maintained good relationships with county GOP activists across the district and has spent ample time developing relationships with key individuals in Linn County.
Miller-Meeks also proved to be a solid fundraiser in her last campaign. While her campaign didn’t receive any help from the National Republican Congressional Committee, she did out-fundraise Congressman Loebsack in one reporting period. She was also able to use her professional connections to solicit some PAC money. In 2008, Miller-Meeks raised $50,000 from PACs, a rarity for challengers whose race is not targeted. Miller-Meeks also showed the ability to contribute a significant amount of money – $35,000 in 2008 – to her campaign.
Two other advantages Miller-Meeks brings to her 2010 campaign are the same attributes that made her a successful candidate in the 2008 Republican Primary – intelligence and an incredible work ethic. Her life story is amazing. She grew up poor, put herself through college with the help of an Army program, and went to medical school after six years of active service in the Army.
No matter how insurmountable the goals she sets for herself may seem, she works hard to achieve them no matter what others might say. Her background as a nurse, doctor, surgeon, veteran, and educator gives her a unique perspective as the topic of healthcare remains one of the top issues on people’s minds. Miller-Meeks is very well-read and showed a wide breadth of knowledge in her last campaign. In addition to talking about healthcare, Miller-Meeks also displayed extensive knowledge on economic issues and energy policy.
Given her previous primary victory, Miller-Meeks will be the front-runner in the Republican primary against Christopher Reed and Steve Rathje. Yet, to achieve her ultimate goal of winning the 2nd congressional seat, she will have to find a way to become more competitive in Linn and Johnson counties. Miller-Meeks lost those two counties by almost a total of 47,000 votes in 2008.
Below is a new web video Miller-Meeks has posted to her campaign website.
The following is the list of stops on Miller-Meeks’ “Let’s Make History” tour today.
Quality Cobbler, Muscatine Mall,
1903 Park Ave., Suite 22
640 Marion Blvd.
Big River Resources
15210 103rd St.
14599 Second Ave.
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