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Axne on Finkenauer criticism of judge: ‘Probably something that I wouldn’t do’

DES MOINES, Iowa — U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, a 3rd District Democrat from West Des Moines, endorsed her former D.C. colleague eight months ago to be the party’s nominee for the U.S. senate. She isn’t endorsing Abby Finkenauer’s criticism of a Polk County District judge this month.

“It is probably something that I wouldn’t do,” Axne told WHO 13. “I’m not going to presume how a judge made their decision since I’m not a judge or have that legal background,” Axne said, “But I feel like Abby did what she thought that she needed to do to make sure that she got a fair shot. I’m not going to weigh into why Abby may have said one thing or the other. i hope that we can rely on our judges to do the right thing.”

On April 11th, Finkenauer posted on Twitter this criticism of Polk County District Judge Scott Beattie after he ruled that she failed to collect enough valid signatures to meet the state’s requirements on her candidate campaign petition.

“In the dead of the night, a Republican judge made a partisan decision to kick me off the ballot.”

Abby Finkenauer, Twitter post

The judge ruled that three signatures on Finkenauer’s petition did not include the proper date and so they were not valid. Because the Finkenauer campaign had not collected enough additional signatures beyond the required 100 in at least 19 counties (high profile campaigns frequently do collect extra signatures just in case some of the signatures aren’t valid), her campaign fell short of meeting the minimum requirements. That meant, according to the judge’s ruling, that Finkenauer couldn’t appear on the June 7th primary ballot. Michael Franken, of Sioux City, and Glenn Hurst, of Minden, had collected the necessary signatures to allow their names on the ballot.

But the Iowa Supreme Court later ruled that Iowa Code a recent law passed by the legislature provided conflicting guidance on whether a signature on a petition needed to also include the date. The justices allowed Finkenauer’s three signatures in question to count, giving her enough to qualify on the primary ballot after all.

Axne also discussed the challenges the Iowa Democratic Party faces in continuing its first-in-the-nation status in 2024.

Axne was part of a rare event in Des Moines. She and the other three current Iowa members of the U.S. House of Representatives sat together at one gathering in Des Moines. Iowans for Israel sponsored the luncheon.

Iowans for Israel is a non-partisan organization that promotes strong business, agricultural and medical relationships between Iowa and Israel.

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