Candidate Who Failed to Get on Ballot Rips Governor and Files Lawsuit

Ron Corbett

HIAWATHA, Iowa–Former Iowa Speaker of the House Ron Corbett said Wednesday afternoon that he will sue after failing to qualify as a Republican candidate for governor.

Read the Corbett lawsuit here

Corbett ripped Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, during his news conference while announcing his plans to petition the court to allow him on the June primary ballot. “I’m a Republican. But I’m not an establishment Republican,” Corbett said, “I’m not the candidate of the special interests. I’m not the candidate of the donor class. That’s Governor Reynolds.”

Corbett’s campaign has received a six-figure financial contribution from the Smith family in Cedar Rapids, who owns a trucking company.

Wednesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for the secretary of state’s office to place candidates’ names on the ballot in time for the primary election. Corbett said he has requested a speedy decision from a Polk County District Court judge on his suit and hopes for a decision late next week.

Here is the final list of candidates who qualified for the ballot. 

The secretary of state’s office requires that a candidate collect at least 4,005 signatures on the petitions it turns in to become a candidate. However, Corbett’s petition contained some duplicate names, leaving him short. A state panel Tuesday declined to add some names to the list that Corbett’s campaign claimed staff mistakenly crossed off the petitions, even though the campaign said those names were valid.

The secretary of state’s office routinely advises campaigns to turn in more than the required amount of signatures and also recommends submitting signatures early, in case of any issues that may arise. Corbett’s campaign turned in its signatures on the final day they were allowed.

During his news conference, Corbett addressed critics who asked why he didn’t follow the traditional norm of gathering additional signatures as a precaution. “Some people say, ‘Well, you should have filed a few more signatures than what you did.’ You see, I don’t think it would have mattered it we filed 150 more, 500 more, 1000 more or 5,000 more. You see, they’ve been out to get me since I announced. They would have found some other tactic if it wasn’t throwing me off the ballot to knock my campaign.”