Democrat Koether files formal contest of House District 55 election after judge dismisses claim

District court judge, Judge Scott Beattie threw out a court action regarding the race for Iowa House District 55. The judge said the proper place for a decision is the Iowa House of Representatives.

“In sum, this Court holds that the Iowa House of Representatives, in exercising its sovereign power under Article III, section 7, has the exclusive right to determine the merits of this contest,” Beattie wrote. “Therefore, this Court must conclude that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction to consider this action because a vote contest of this nature is a role constitutionally given to the legislative branch.”

Rep. Michael Bergen (R-Dorchester) won the election by nine votes. Twenty-nine absentee ballots are disputed and will not be counted unless, it seems, the Iowa House says to include them.

Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, said it’s time for everyone to move on.

“This might be surprising coming from me, but I agree with the Democrats,” Kaufmann said. “In court, they identified that they lack sufficient facts for standing to challenge the contest before the House of Representatives. The election has been certified, the court dismissed their case, it’s time to move on.”

Author: Jacob Hall