Rita Hart announces she’s running for Congress

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Rita Hart speaking with educators and community members at the Iowa City Public Library. Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2018. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Rita Hart, the former state senator who was the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in 2016, announced she is running for Congress on Tuesday morning. She made her announcement in a video posted on Twitter, which shows her on the Clinton County farm.

“I understand the issues that rural Iowans face, because this is where I live and this is what we do,” Hart said in the video. “I want to make sure that Iowa works for all of us, rural, urban, Republican, Democrat, independent.”

In an interview with the Quad City Times on Monday, Hart cited health care, the state’s agricultural economy and rural development as her top priorities.

Hart is running in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, which Democrat Dave Loebsack has represented in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. On April 12, Loebsack said in a statement that he won’t run for reelection in 2020.

Hart represented the 49th District, which covers Clinton and Scott counties, in the Iowa State Senate for six years, from 2013 to 2019. In 2018, she was selected by Democratic candidate for governor, Fred Hubbell, as his running mate.

A native of Iowa, Hart taught junior high and high school in the Calamus-Wheatland and Bennett Community School Districts for more than 20 years. Hart and her husband Paul live on a 200-acre corn and soybean farm in Wheatland, which they have owned and operated since 1986.

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