Abby Finkenauer to appeal ballot rejection to Iowa Supreme Court

An Iowa judge ruled late Sunday that Finkenauer did not have enough signatures to appear on the June 7 ballot.


Iowa Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer poses for a portrait during Iowa House Rep. Christina Bohannan’s birthday celebration in Iowa City on Friday, July 2, 2021.

Caleb McCullough, Executive Editor

Abby Finkenauer will appeal a judicial ruling disqualifying her from the ballot in the June 7 Democratic primary to the Iowa Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate candidate said in a prepared statement Monday.

Judge Scott Beattie ruled late last night that Finkenauer did not have enough signatures to appear on the ballot in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate. The judge reversed the decision made by a State Objections Panel in March and notched a legal victory for Republicans seeking to keep Finkenauer off the ballot.

RELATED: Judge rejects Abby Finkenauer’s ballot nominating papers

“After careful review, I have decided to challenge this deeply partisan decision to the Iowa Supreme Court,” Finkenauer wrote in her statement. “First, the Republican Secretary of State’s Office accepted our more than 5,000 signatures, 1,500 more than are required, and put me on the U.S. Senate ballot. Then, Chuck Grassley’s Republican allies launched a partisan challenge to remove me from the ballot, and that challenge was heard and rejected by the bipartisan State Objections Panel.”

U.S. Senate candidates are required to submit 3,500 signatures in their petition for ballot access, including 100 signatures from at least 19 separate counties. After the panel rejected some of Finkenauer’s signatures, she was left with just 100 signatures in Allamakee County and 101 in Cedar County. Beattie ruled that three signatures — two in Cedar County and one in Allamakee County — were not valid and should have been rejected by the panel.

In an email to The Daily Iowan on Monday, Alan R. Ostergren, a conservative lawyer representing two Republicans in the legal challenge to Finkenauer’s ballot access, said he would continue to represent the plaintiffs if the challenge was elevated to the Supreme Court.

“We will file a brief that lays out our arguments about why the judge’s decision was correct,” he wrote.

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