UPDATE: Ron Corbett says he'll challenge being kicked off the ballot

Was only GOP primary opponent for Governor Kim Reynolds.

Posted: Mar 28, 2018 2:33 PM
Updated: Mar 28, 2018 5:09 PM

HIAWATHA, Iowa (AP) — Ron Corbett says he's filing a legal challenge against an elections panel's ruling that booted him off the Republican primary ballot for governor.

Corbett told reporters Wednesday in Hiawatha he wants a judge in Polk County district court to review his case. A campaign spokesman later said Corbett filed an administrative review, though documentation was not immediately available.

A three-person panel determined Tuesday that Corbett failed to submit enough signatures from the public to qualify to run against Gov. Kim Reynolds. The decision means Reynolds will not have a primary challenger.

Corbett, a former Cedar Rapids mayor, initially turned in enough signatures to reach the 4,005-signature threshold needed to run. Duplicative signatures threw that requirement into question, and the elections panel rejected Corbett's request to add back signatures that had been crossed off the paperwork.


Previous story below

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ron Corbett, the sole Republican who was challenging Gov. Kim Reynolds in Iowa's gubernatorial race, failed to qualify for the primary ballot because he didn't collect enough valid signatures from the public, an elections panel concluded Tuesday.

The decision means Reynolds will not have a GOP primary challenger, allowing her to focus on the November general election. Six Democrats and two libertarians also remain in the gubernatorial race. They'll face off in the June 5 primary for a chance against Reynolds.

Corbett said he'll consider legal options, but he believes they're limited. Corbett noted there are only a few weeks before the primary and local elections officials will soon begin printing ballots.

"It doesn't look very promising," he said. "The path isn't very wide."

Corbett didn't turn in enough nomination petition signatures to be on the ballot after some names he submitted this month were determined to be duplicative. His attorneys then failed to argue to the State Objection Panel that signatures that had initially been crossed off from submitted paperwork should still count.

The three-person panel also turned down other technical challenges by Corbett's attorneys aimed at reaching the required 4,005-signature threshold to stay on the statewide ballot. Patrick Sealey, one of those attorneys, stressed that some of the rejected petition signatures were legitimate names that the campaign crossed off by mistake. He questioned the implications of the panel's decision.

"I have tremendous problems that we deny the citizens of Iowa the right to make that choice, that three people deny the citizens of Iowa to make that choice," he said.

The panel is made up of Secretary of State Paul Pate, State Auditor Mary Mosiman and Attorney General Tom Miller. Pate and Mosiman are Republicans and Miller is a Democrat, though their party affiliation is not supposed to affect how they rule.

The panel spent the most time deciding whether crossed off signatures from Corbett's campaign should count. Pate, the state's top elections official, didn't think so.

"Our office cannot be mind readers. If they're stricken off, they're stricken off," Pate said. Mosiman agreed, and believed that adding back the signatures would wrongfully alter the paperwork.

Pate stressed the importance of campaigns submitting more than the minimum signatures to ensure they can qualify for elections ballots.

In the end, the panel agreed that Corbett's campaign had turned in 3,997 signatures, just eight short. The panel voted 2-1 to reject Corbett qualifying to be on the ballot. Miller voted against the objection.

A Republican strategist, Craig Robinson, had pointed out in a formal challenge earlier this month that Corbett's campaign had submitted enough duplicative signatures to throw his candidacy into question. Corbett said Robinson's challenge was politically driven, a claim Robinson denied.

Corbett, the former Cedar Rapids mayor and ex-Iowa House speaker, emerged last year as the only Republican to announce a challenge against Reynolds. He faced an uphill battle with Reynolds, who had raised millions of dollars more for her campaign. Records show Corbett raised more than $800,000 last year.

Reynolds, who formally launched her gubernatorial campaign earlier this month, is serving the final term of Gov. Terry Branstad, who left the job last May to become U.S. ambassador to China.

The elections panel, which met for several hours and reviewed multiple candidacy challenges, also booted a GOP primary challenger in Iowa's 2nd congressional district over not enough valid signatures. A Republican challenger was also kicked out of an Iowa House race because he was registered as a Democrat when he collected signatures for the ballot. The panel dismissed challenges against Reynolds and U.S. Reps. David Young and Steve King.

The panel did not issue a ruling on whether Theresa Greenfield, a candidate in Iowa's 3rd congressional district, should remain on the ballot. Greenfield's candidacy has been questioned because of issues over her signatures.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Ramsey10911320
Dakota7524126
Anoka6092133
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Washington379955
Scott257433
Olmsted244628
Nobles197116
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Wright16327
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Carver14197
Clay138940
Rice13358
Mower13285
Sherburne115014
Kandiyohi10112
Winona88718
Lyon6954
Waseca6698
Benton5523
Steele5472
Freeborn5424
Nicollet54016
Watonwan5284
Crow Wing51618
Todd4952
Chisago4941
McLeod4882
Le Sueur4674
Otter Tail4414
Beltrami4215
Martin40810
Goodhue3659
Itasca32814
Pine3280
Douglas3102
Polk3054
Isanti2971
Becker2802
Carlton2701
Morrison2492
Dodge2390
Cottonwood2250
Pipestone22510
Chippewa2141
Meeker2022
Wabasha1960
Sibley1923
Brown1912
Yellow Medicine1822
Cass1804
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Unassigned17052
Redwood1673
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Murray1642
Renville1518
Jackson1481
Faribault1450
Swift1381
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Kanabec1258
Roseau1230
Koochiching1223
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Pennington1191
Lincoln1110
Hubbard1031
Stevens1031
Pope940
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Aitkin801
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Wilkin653
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Lake590
Lac qui Parle581
Norman540
Marshall521
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods221
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 85533

Reported Deaths: 1305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15872262
Woodbury544764
Johnson512627
Black Hawk448990
Linn4010111
Story344417
Dubuque325741
Scott301128
Dallas278538
Pottawattamie211338
Buena Vista199112
Marshall178434
Sioux16183
Wapello133357
Webster125514
Plymouth114121
Clinton112121
Muscatine110855
Crawford10885
Cerro Gordo105721
Warren9566
Jasper83832
Des Moines7848
Marion7637
Henry7434
Tama71331
Carroll6625
Lee6377
Wright5811
Dickinson5276
Boone5078
Bremer4927
Washington45911
Louisa42915
Mahaska41219
Delaware4023
Floyd3493
Jackson3493
Franklin34818
Winneshiek3356
Clay3264
Lyon3264
Hamilton3223
Benton3101
Winnebago30313
Hardin2991
Poweshiek2958
Buchanan2791
Jones2743
Butler2702
Kossuth2700
Shelby2671
Clarke2653
Emmet26510
Allamakee2616
Clayton2523
Chickasaw2500
Sac2500
Cherokee2492
Cedar2461
Guthrie2456
Fayette2222
Harrison2223
Grundy2203
Madison2192
Iowa2091
Palo Alto2020
Humboldt1903
Mitchell1900
Howard1886
Hancock1842
Calhoun1833
Mills1801
Page1700
Cass1682
Osceola1610
Monroe15911
Pocahontas1592
Lucas1566
Monona1531
Jefferson1381
Appanoose1363
Union1353
Taylor1301
Davis1244
Ida1221
Fremont1180
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
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