A lifelong Iowan, experienced leader, educator, and farmer
Rita Hart is an experienced leader, farmer, and 20-year educator running for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd district to expand economic opportunity for hardworking families. A lifelong Iowan, Rita grew up in Charles City as one of nine children. After graduating from North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Northern Iowa, she taught junior high and high school English in public schools for more than two decades. Rita left the classroom and went on to lead programs that connected students with local businesses to facilitate career opportunities and served as an active volunteer in her eastern Iowa community. She was elected to represent a swing district in the Iowa Senate in 2012, and won re-election in 2014 despite a GOP landslide across the state. In 2018, Rita was the Democratic nominee for Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor on a ticket that narrowly lost—an experience that deepened her commitment to public service. She and her husband Paul have five children, and they live on the 200-acre farm in Wheatland that they’ve owned and operated since 1986.
A champion for Iowa working families
Rita is a dedicated public servant and a fierce champion for Iowa working families. As an experienced educator, she is a forceful advocate for increasing all students’ access to high quality public education and job training that prepares them to succeed in a changing economy. “I’ve spent almost my entire life on the farm," Rita has said. “As we look at the challenges that we face right now with the tariffs and the trade war, the effect that they have already had on Iowa farmers, we have to have people who understand that [in Congress].” She is ready to take on the biggest challenges we face. “We have to do something to counteract the effects we are already seeing with climate change,” Rita has said. “People are suffering because we are not making good policy.”
An open seat we cannot take for granted
Rita is running for the open seat currently held by retiring seven-term Congressman Dave Loebsack. This is a district that Trump won by 4 points in 2016, and we cannot take a single vote for granted here. Its 24 counties include blue counties, red counties, and so-called "pivot counties" that voted for Trump in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Rita has won two tough elections for a swing seat in the state senate and earned a statewide reputation as an outstanding public servant. She has what it takes to hold this House seat and the powerful new majority that is at stake in 2020. This district has never before been represented by a woman, and Rita has what it takes to make history as the first. Let’s show Rita the full support of the EMILY’s List community and help send this champion for Iowa working families to Congress.