Woman Gives Up Run for Congress After Ruling, Plans to “Make Banana Bread”

DES MOINES, Iowa–Theresa Greenfield, the Windsor Heights businesswoman who has faced a tumultuous few weeks in her bid to get on the ballot to run as a Democrat in Iowa’s Third Congressional District, will end her fight, following a ruling from the state’s attorney general early Wednesday evening.

Greenfield’s situation has intrigued political observers because of its unique circumstances. She initially turned in her signature petitions to the secretary of state’s office two days before the March 16th deadline. But Greenfield said the next night her campaign manager confessed to her that he forged signatures.

Greenfield took back those petitions and then the next day, March 16th, scattered across the state, along with volunteers and staffers from other campaigns, and collected new signatures. But she failed to collect enough.

Greenfield appealed to the 3rd District Democratic Central Committee to take the unusual step of recommending that she be placed on the ballot, even though she had failed to meet the signature guidelines for the state.

On Monday, the committee approved her candidacy for the ballot. But Greenfield still faced a few more hurdles.

Tuesday, a state panel consisting of Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate, Republican State Auditor Mary Mosiman and Democratic Attorney General met to consider a challenge that had been filed against her candidacy. However, the panel decided it lacked the jurisdiction to rule on the matter, so it declined the challenge.

Greenfield still needed to get the secretary of state to certify her candidacy, though, before Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline to appear on the primary ballot.

About 20 minutes after that deadline, the attorney general’s office released a statement that said it recommended that the secretary of state decline to put Greenfield on the ballot:

“Chapter 43 of the Iowa Code does not permit Greenfield to be designated as ‘an additional primary election candidate,’ according to the Attorney General’s legal analysis. A provision of the law ‘provides political parties a safety valve to fill candidate slots that unexpectedly become vacant due to the death or withdrawal of a primary candidate. Its purpose is to encourage and ensure contested primaries. It is not a do-over provision,’ the analysis said.

“The statute envisions and requires that the original candidate fully qualify as a valid candidate. Theresa Greenfield never fully and properly qualified as a candidate since her first petition contained forgeries and her second petition did not have enough signatures.”

“We also believe that when all relevant sections Chapter 43 are read together, the code requires someone other than the original candidate be the replacement.”

Greenfield could have chosen to sue, to try to appeal to the judicial system to get placed on the ballot. But she opted not to do that.

She released a statement:

“This is a tough pill to swallow for all of our friends and supporters who worked so hard the past two weeks to put my name on the ballot, including what was really a difficult and courageous vote of support on Monday by the Third District Central Committee of the Iowa Democratic Party. But I accept the Attorney General’s decision.”

“As for me, I will never regret doing the right thing in pulling a petition with forged signatures. The outpouring since that moment proves that Iowans, regardless of where they live on the political spectrum, are tired of politicians who look away from what’s wrong and refuse to do what’s right,” she said.

“Every single day I’ve been in this race, I have been incredibly blessed and energized by so many people who care about their neighbors and this state. With that same farm-girl grit Iowans have seen over the past few weeks, I will continue fighting for our hardworking families, our labor unions, our small businesses, our farms and our rural communities.”

When asked what she will do next, Greenfield replied simply: ‘Make banana bread!'”

Making banana bread was not just a random thought. Greenfield makes the bread as a stress-reliever and recently delivered it to volunteers from some other political campaigns that had rushed to her aid when she hurriedly tried to collect petition signatures two weeks ago.