OTTUMWA, Iowa -- Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an Ottumwa ophthalmologist and first-term Republican state senator, announced Tuesday that she is running in Iowa's Second Congressional District.
"Things are important, you never give up," Miller-Meeks told Channel 13 as she begins her fourth run for Congress.
Miller-Meeks unsuccessfully ran in 2008, 2010 and 2014, losing each time to Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City.
"You keep trying. You keep fighting," Miller-Meeks said about her persistence. She said that it is difficult to run again, since she is also now serving in her first term in the state senate.
Miller-Meeks is a U.S. Army veteran, business owner and former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. She said that she hadn't anticipated this opportunity arising to run for Congress again.
But the district will have an open seat in the 2020 election. Loebsack announced that he was retiring from Congress next year. Bobby Schilling, a former Republican U.S. Representative from Illinois who now lives in LeClaire, has already announced his run for the position in the district that leans Democratic. Rita Hart, a former Democratic state senator and family farmer from Wheatland, has also declared her candidacy.
Miller-Meeks said that she will represent people in her 24-county district that feel Washington, D.C. leaders don't look out for them. "There is a concern that no one is listening," Miller-Meeks said.