Apr 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Iowa Supreme Court rules Abby Finkenauer qualifies for Senate Dem primary ballot

Abby Finkenauer

Former Rep. Abby Finkenauer. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a reversal of a lower court decision, former Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) qualifies for the Democratic primary ballot, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Why it matters: The unanimous ruling allows Finkenauer to continue her campaign for the Democratic nomination for the Iowa Senate seat and a chance to challenge longtime Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

  • Republicans had challenged Finkenauer's place on the ballot, claiming that she did not have enough valid signatures on her nominating petitions to qualify.
  • While a state panel found that she had met the requirement, Polk County District Judge Scott Beattie ruled on Sunday that the panel incorrectly interpreted the law.

Background: The Iowa Supreme Court ruling overturned the lower court decision from Sunday.

  • Finkenauer served one term in the House, but she lost her re-election bid in 2020. She is a likely front-runner in the state's June 7 primary.

What she's saying: "Today’s victory isn’t about my candidacy – it’s about justice for Iowans and democracy prevailing over meritless partisan attacks orchestrated by Washington Republicans and allies of Senator Grassley seeking to silence Iowans and undermine the democratic process," Finkenauer said in a statement.

  • She added, “Iowans have had enough of being overruled, silenced, and left behind by elites and special interests in Washington."

The other side: "The bottom line is Abby Finkenauer thumbed her nose at Iowa’s election laws," said Grassley campaign spokesperson Michaela Sundermann.

  • "The Grassley campaign collected nearly three times more than the required number of signatures from Iowans who want another six years of Senator Grassley’s strong leadership. The Senator we need is the Senator we’ve got," she added.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from the Grassley campaign.

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