Collecting signatures is campaign 101 type stuff. Caffeinated Thoughts reported on Monday that one candidate, Teresa Greenfield, the leading Democrat candidate in the Iowa 3rd Congressional District race, failed to make the ballot because she did not have enough signatures (though she may still end up on the ballot through a special nominating convention).
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett met the filing deadline last week to appear on the ballot for the June 5th Republican primary challenging Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for the party’s nomination.
Like federal offices, the nomination petition signature requirements for Governor are based on the number of votes each party’s presidential candidate received in the previous presidential election, so they differ by party. The required amount of signatures for Republican gubernatorial candidates this cycle is 4,005 signatures from a minimum of 10 counties.
Collecting signatures is not an onerous task if one is organized and can send staff and volunteers out to various events and county party central committee meetings.
Corbett’s campaign turned in less than 4,100 signatures, and Craig Robinson, a Republican activist, filed a formal challenge with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office after finding duplications and improperly filled out petitions. He wrote at his blog The Iowa Republican today:
On Tuesday morning, The Iowa Republican obtained copies of the Corbett campaign’s petitions filed with the Secretary of State’s office. Our initial examination of the Corbett campaign’s petitions noticed that they submitted just 83 signatures above qualifying threshold for the primary ballot. Most campaigns attempt to get double or triple the amount of signatures needed just to play it safe. With Corbett barely surpassing the minimum signatures required we felt a closer examination of his petitions was warranted.
Corbett’s petitions were easy to verify because the campaign had signers print their first and last name alongside their signature. It was rather easy to glance through each sheet to find a number of duplicate names, nearly all of which had the same address but were signed on a different date.
In total we found 104 duplicate signatures and 7 signatures improperly filled out. That leaves Corbett with 3,977 signatures and 28 short of the minimum 4,005 needed to access the primary ballot.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that Corbett called the challenge “baseless.”
“I’m sure we have the adequate number and that the challenge is baseless,” he said.
But the challenge is indicative of the hostile environment his campaign has encountered, Corbett said.
“Certainly the establishment — the donor class and the special interests — have rallied around Reynolds,” he said. “But there is another important class — the people.”
He said found it interesting that rather than Reynolds accepting his challenge for a series of eight debates ahead of the primary, “one of her lackeys challenges my nomination petition.”
The Iowa Secretary of State’s office said that a review board made up of Secretary of State Paul Pate, State Auditor Mary Mosiman, and Attorney General Tom Miller would likely convene next week to hear from the challenger and the campaign, as well as, evaluate the evidence.