DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state court judge has concluded that Democrat Abby Finkenauer cannot appear on the June 7 primary ballot for U.S. Senate, knocking off the candidate considered by many to be the party's best chance to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley.
Judge Scott Beattie filed a ruling late Sunday that overturned a decision by a three-member panel of state elected officials.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought forth by two Republicans, Kim Schmett and Leanne Pellett, who challenged the number of signatures Finkenauer's campaign collected, the Associated Press reported.
The panel concluded last week that Finkenauer's campaign had substantially complied with Iowa law requiring at least 100 signatures from at least 19 counties.
However, Beattie said the law requires that each signature be accompanied by the date and some of Finkenauer's petition signatures didn't comply, leaving her with too few signatures.
The signatures in question were about three obtained from Allamakee and Cedar counties, CNN reported.
Finkenauer might appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.
NBC News reported that a hearing before the Iowa Supreme Court is scheduled for Wednesday.