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Des Moines Register - "Doctor Expects She'll Run Against Loebsack in '08"

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Location: Washington, DC

An ophthalmologist from Ottumwa said Wednesday that she probably would run for the GOP nod to challenge U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, a Mount Vernon Democrat, in 2008.

Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who was the first woman to serve as president of the Iowa Medical Society, said her interest in a 2nd District campaign stemmed from concern about the nation's health care system.

"There certainly is a lot of frustration by physicians on what's happening with health care, Medicare reimbursement, the inability to recruit doctors to a small state, especially a rural state," she said. More physicians need to be involved in increasing access to health care, she said.

Miller-Meeks, 52, said she has been registered as a no-party voter and has not been involved in politics. "It's a new kind of endeavor, one born out of frustration neither party is getting the job done," she said.

She said her family moved around because of her father's Air Force career, though they kept a home in Texas. She began her career as a nurse, then took medical courses while serving in the Army and graduated from medical school at the University of Texas.

Miller-Meeks had a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, taught at the University of Michigan, returned to join the U of I faculty in 1994 and now is on the staff of Heartland Eye Care in Ottumwa. She is married to Curt Meeks, and they have two teenage children.

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