Panel kicks Ron Corbett off the gubernatorial ballot

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett speaking at the Douglas Mansion. Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

Update: On March 28, Corbett announced he had filed a lawsuit to overturn the panel’s decision.

Former Cedar Rapids mayor Ron Corbett won’t be on the June primary ballot, after a state panel ruled on Tuesday that his campaign had failed to collect enough valid signatures on his candidate petition. Corbett was seeking the Republican nomination for governor. On March 20, Iowa Republican activist Craig Robinson sent a letter to Secretary of State Paul Pate challenging the validity of 111 signatures on Corbett’s petition.

According to a statement provided to Little Village by Corbett campaign manager Cory Crowley after news of the challenge broke, the challenge was the work of “establishment insiders” who “have tried everything they can think of to derail” a challenge to Gov. Kim Reynolds. With Corbett off the ballot, Reynolds will be unopposed in the Republican primary.

Corbett needed to file a candidate petition with 4,005 valid signatures to qualify for the June ballot. After hearing arguments from an attorney representing Robinson and the Corbett campaign and reviewing the disputed signatures, the State Objection Panel ruled that only 3,997 of Corbett’s signatures were valid. The panel is made up of Pate, Attorney General Tom Miller and State Auditor Mary Mossman.

The panel also ruled on Tuesday that Ginny Caligiuri did not submit enough valid signatures to appear on the June primary ballot. Caligiuri was seeking the Republican nomination in Iowa 2nd Congressional District, which includes Johnson County. Caligiuri was one of two Republicans vying to challenge incumbent Dave Loebsack, a Democrat, in the general election. The other Republican in the race, Christopher Peters, qualified for the ballot, setting up a rematch of the 2016 election in which Loebsack defeated Peters.

While Corbett struck a philosophical tone of resignation, the Caligiuri campaign intends to mount a legal challenge to the panel’s decision, according to a tweet by Ed Tibbets of the Quad City Times.

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