Iowa Democratic Senate candidate kicked off primary ballot by judge

Former Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), who is seeking office once again, this time to take Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R) seat, received really bad news from a district judge this week who ruled that her name can no longer be included on the primary ballot for Senate in Iowa.

According to The Hill, District Judge Scott Beattie of the 5th Judicial District of Iowa reversed an earlier court decision that would have allowed Finkenauer to remain on the ballot. The judge cited a lack of proper signatures for the Democratic hopeful, which was the crux of the entire reason her candidacy ended up in court. 

In the state of Iowa, The Hill noted, “individuals seeking to appear on a ballot for political office submit at least 3,500 signatures from ‘electors,’ including at least 100 signatures from 19 different counties.”

Finkenauer seemingly thought she had the required number of signatures, but earlier this year, registered Republicans Kim Schmett and Leanne Pellett complained that a number of Finkenauer’s signatures didn’t have all of the required information.

Both Republican women were chairs of their county’s Republican parties. The two women pointed to some technical inconsistencies with Finkenauer’s signatures, ultimately taking the situation into a legal situation, where Finkenauer was originally granted relief.

“The objections to the Finkenauer petition signatures from Allamakee and Cedar County are sustained. The Finkenauer campaign has failed to submit at least 100 signatures from at least 19 counties as required by Iowa Code § 45. Ms. Finkenauer’s name shall not be included on the primary ballot for the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate,” Judge Beattie wrote.

Finkenauer immediately responded to the ruling, claiming that it was a partisan “gift” to Republicans in the state.

“This misguided, midnight ruling is an outrageous and partisan gift to the Washington Republicans who orchestrated this meritless legal action.”