116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — State elections officials have received challenges to eight candidates’ nominating paperwork that could, if upheld, remove candidates from Iowa ballots for the 2022 elections.
Any Iowa resident in the political district in which a candidate is running can challenge a candidate’s nominating paperwork.
Challenges are considered by a state panel, which will meet Tuesday. If the panel determines a candidate’s paperwork does not meet state requirements, that candidate’s paperwork is nullified, which would take them off the ballot.
Eight challenges have been filed after the candidate filing period ended just more than a week ago. The candidates being challenged are:
- Abby Finkenauer, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
- Mike Franken, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
- Tom Miller, the Democratic incumbent candidate for Iowa Attorney General
- Kyle Kuehl, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 1
- Jack Whitver, the Republican Iowa Senate majority leader and candidate for state Senate District 23
- Ken Rozenboom, Republican incumbent candidate for Iowa Senate District 19
- Jeff Shipley, Republican candidate for Iowa House District 87
- Anthony LaBruna, Republican candidate for Iowa Senate District 3
The specific challenges cover a range of clerical objections, including that forms were not completed as required, signers’ addresses were incomplete, or some signatures were duplicated among other objections.
If the panel disqualifies any of the candidates, some will have the option of being placed back on the ballot later, while others will not. Candidates can be nominated to the ballot by their political parties. But that is only an option if no other candidate from that party qualified for the ballot during the filing period.
So if the panel disqualifies Whitver, he will have a chance to be placed back on the ballot by Republican Party members because no other Republican filed for candidacy in his district.
However, if the panel disqualifies Finkenauer or Franken, neither would be able to be placed back on the ballot by the Democratic Party because another Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Glenn Hurst, qualified for the ballot.
The State Objection Panel is comprised of the state’s Secretary of State (the state’s top elections official), Attorney General and Auditor. Currently, those offices are occupied by Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate, Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller and Democratic Auditor Rob Sand.
When the challenge to Miller’s paperwork is considered, he will be replaced on the panel by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, a Republican.
In 2018, the panel disqualified former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett from the ballot after it ruled he did not have a sufficient number of properly documented signatures. Corbett was running to challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds in the Republican primary.
The objections to the Finkenauer, Miller, Rozenboom and Shipley campaign signatures were filed on behalf of resident objectors by Alan Ostergren, a prominent lawyer in conservative politics.
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