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The Ottumwa Courier - "Miller-Meeks Kicks Off Campaign"

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Location: Ottumwa, IA

The Ottumwa Courier - "Miller-Meeks Kicks Off Campaign"

Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa is running for political office and said she was "raised to answer the call" when help is needed.

That's what she told nearly 30 citizens Monday morning at the Hotel Ottumwa as she officially kicked off her campaign bid for Iowa's Second Congressional District seat.

Why did she decide to run?

"No one recruited me. I looked at the issues. I know as a doctor that you can see better if you have clear vision," said Miller-Meeks, who is running as a Republican.

Miller-Meeks doesn't like the power struggles in politics. "Providing solutions" is more important than being the "victor."

"I'm tired of praying over Congress," she said. "Remember the FEMA trailers? People deserve better."

A longtime Ottumwa resident, Miller-Meeks is an ophthalmologist and has practices in Ottumwa and Fairfield. She's also a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and the first woman past president of the Iowa Medical Society.

Miller-Meeks said her experience as a doctor, veteran and nurse gives her a unique perspective on how to solve problems facing Iowa.

"My life's experiences have taught me to think critically about the issues, to provide independent solutions and, most importantly, to be honest and straightforward in my advice," Miller-Meeks said. "That's the way I will conduct myself as a representative in Congress. The people of the Second District deserve nothing less."

She said many "pressing issues" that directly affect Second District residents aren't being addressed.

"We have a congressman who campaigned in 2006 as an ‘agent of change.' But, health-care costs are still spiraling out of control and reimbursement rates for rural areas are still lagging," Miller-Meeks said.

She's also concerned about escalating health premiums and less job security. Today's older citizens have contributed most of their lives to Social Security and Medicare.

"Will [those funds] be there when we need them?" she said. "We're not powerless, we're not invisible."

Miller-Meeks first learned about hard work from her parents, Fred and Annette Miller. Her father worked two part-time jobs while he was a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and her mother, who took care of eight children, also worked outside the home until her health prevented it.

"Sometimes we remind Dad he still owes us for ironing all those uniforms," Miller-Meeks said.

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