A state panel has rejected a challenge that would have booted U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer off the ballot for the Democratic Primary in June.
The state auditor and Attorney General Tom Miller, both Democrats, voted to reject claims that some signatures on Finkenauer’s nominating petitions were invalid because people had failed to list the date or their apartment number. Miller said the State Objection Panel is following the “hardcore rules,” but should “tilt towards letting people on the ballot.”
“It’s an incredibly important race and we’ve got a candidate in front of us who’s a former member of congress, a very legitimate candidate. She went out and got thousands and thousands of signatures,” Miller said of Finkenauer. “…She does everything she’d expected to do, in that sense.”
Alan Ostergren, the attorney representing the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters the group may ask a judge to review their complaint about Finkenauer’s nominating papers.
“It may be a handful of signatures, but the bigger picture is do we live in a state where the law is followed, or don’t we?” Ostergren asked.
A challenge to the nominating papers for U.S. Senate candidate Mike Franken was withdrawn. A Republican who planned to run against Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a fellow Republican, did not contest the challenge of his nominating forms and ended his campaign.
The State Objection Panel dismissed a complaint from a GOP candidate from Aurelia who questioned whether his opponent for a state senate seat had lived in Iowa long enough to run for office. Anthony LaBruna provided copies of a gun permit and a pay stub from Senator Grassley’s campaign to show he meets the requirement of living in Iowa at least a year before the 2022 General Election. LaBruna, who worked in the Trump White House, said he moved back to Iowa after Trump’s 2020 loss and he lists Storm Lake as his current home address.
The panel also reviewed challenged signatures on Republican Representative Jeff Shipley’s nominating forms, but ruled he had enough valid signatures. Without debate, the Objections Panel rejected residency questions raised about two state senators who intend to move and run in a new district in November. State law requires a legislative candidate to live in the district they seek to represent 60 days before the General Election.
Finally, as Radio Iowa reported earlier, Attorney General Miller was ruled to have qualified for the Primary ballot. Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg took Miller’s place on the Objections Panel during those deliberations.