District Court Rules Finkenauer Ineligible for U.S. Senate Democratic Primary

April 14, 2022

Late Sunday, Polk County District Judge Scott Beattie ruled that former Congresswoman and former State House Rep. Abby Finkenauer was ineligible to be on the Democratic primary ballot for U.S. Senate. This challenge was based on the validity of three signatures – one from Allamakee County and two from Cedar County – which the challengers argue did not include a date. The plaintiffs in the case argue Finkenauer did not meet the requirement set by law, which states, “Nominations for candidates . . . for United States senator may be made by nomination petitions signed by not less than three thousand five hundred (3,500) eligible electors, including at least one hundred (100) eligible electors from at least nineteen (19) counties of the state.” 

A panel of state officials – the State Objections Panel – had ruled the signatures were valid on a 2-1 vote. Iowa Sec. of State Paul Pate, Attorney General Tom Miller, and State Auditor Rob Sand serve on this panel. 

This Wednesday, the Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments as the case was appealed to determine whether these signatures followed the requirements set by Iowa law. The Iowa Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision that is released today, as ballots for absentee voting will be printed soon. Election Day for the primary is June 7, 2022.