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Iowa Supreme Court puts Democratic hopeful Finkenauer back on the ballot

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Iowa's highest court reversed the lower court's decision Friday with just enough time for Abby Finkenauer to appear on the June Democratic primary ballot.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer will be on the ballot in this year's primary.

The seat — currently held by Sen. Chuck Grassley — has three Democratic challengers hoping to gain the party's nomination. Finkenauer is a former U.S. representative and was favored by some spectators of the race.

However, Republicans Kim Schmett and Leanne Pellett challenged Finkenauer on some of the signatures she needed to file for candidacy in the state. While a state panel rejected this challenge, Polk County District Judge Scott Beattie said the panel's interpretation of the law was incorrect, and that the signatures should not be allowed to count with absent or incorrect dates. Finkenauer appealed and the Iowa Supreme Court agreed.

Finkenauer joins the ballot with Mike Franken, a retired Navy admiral, and Glenn Hurst, a doctor who was elected to Minden City Council.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with IPR's Grant Gerlock to learn about this breaking news. Also this hour, an international lawyer talks about the extent to which war crimes are occuring in Ukraine, a writer from Bulgaria describes how his country is dealing with nearby Ukraine's invasion, an Associated Press reporter details the challenges Black candidates are having in Iowa, and we'll hear new music from Wet Leg and Michael Franti & Spearhead.


  • Mark Osiel, professor at the University of Iowa College of Law
  • Tom Beaumont, national political reporter for the Associated Press
  • Grant Gerlock, covers education and central Iowa for IPR
  • Angel Igov, writer in residence at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa
  • Tony Dehner, hosts IPR’s Studio One
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa