Government

Caligiuri's candidacy petition challenged

Panel meets to hear objections against eight hopefuls

Ginny Caligiuri, 2018 Republican candidate for Congress in 2nd Congressional District
Ginny Caligiuri, 2018 Republican candidate for Congress in 2nd Congressional District

In one of eight challenges seeking to knock candidates for state and federal office off the ballot, the campaign manager for Republican 2nd House District candidate Christopher Peters has challenged the petition for rival Ginny Caligiuri to get on the June 5 primary ballot.

The objection was filed last Friday, the deadline to challenge petitions. A three-person panel is scheduled to hear that objection — along with others including the gubernatorial race of former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett — Tuesday.

In a letter to Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, Matthew Evans, the campaign manager for Peters, said that Caligiuri’s petition doesn’t have enough signatures from Washington County, one of 24 counties in the district now represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack.

To get on the primary ballot for the 2nd District seat, Iowa law requires that candidates submit signatures from people living in at least 12 counties that are equal to 2 percent of the votes cast in that county for their party’s candidate for president in the last election. In Washington County, that would require 124 signatures to get on the GOP ballot.

Evans, though, said at least 14 of the 133 signatures Caligiuri submitted from Washington County are invalid because they’re either duplicates or from people who do not live in the county.

A spokesman for Caligiuri’s campaign declined to comment.

Peters, a surgeon from Coralville, was the GOP candidate in 2016 and is seeking the nomination for a rematch.

Caligiuri, a former bank vice president and small business owner from Osceola, announced her candidacy earlier this month.

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A three-person review board hears objections to nomination petitions and it is scheduled to meet at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday in Des Moines. The panel is made up of Pate, State Auditor Mary Mosiman and Attorney General Tom Miller.

Among the challenges the group will hear is an attempt to disqualify Corbett from forcing a primary against GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Craig Robinson, of TheIowaRepublican.com and a supporter of Reynolds, last week said he discovered Corbett’s petition had 104 duplicate signatures and seven more improperly filled out signatures.

Robinson said that with those ruled out, Corbett would fall below the minimum 4,005.

Corbett, however, said he was confident he’d win the challenge.

“I’m sure we have the adequate number and that the challenge is baseless,” he said.

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