Panel rejects bids to disqualify candidates for Iowa House seat

DES MOINES — A state panel has rejected challenges that sought to disqualify two candidates for a northwest Iowa House seat from the June Primary.

The Republican from Onawa who’s currently serving in Iowa House District 13 is not seeking reelection. Republicans Noah Wieseler of Sioux City and Travis Sitzmann of Le Mars are running for the seat in the June Primary. The secretary of state’s office received challenges alleging neither candidate was qualified to run because they don’t live in the district.

The State Objection Panel rejected those claims and cited both the Iowa Constitutions and state law. Both say a candidate only has to live in the legislative district they intend to represent for 60 days before November’s General Election.

“While the law says you’ve only got to be in the district 60 days before the General Election, a lot of folks aren’t aware of that and assume as soon as you declare, you’ve got to be there, so it’s not an uncommon objection,” said State Auditor Rob Sand, a member of the State Objection Panel.

Candidates for the Iowa legislature do have to be Iowa residents for at least a year before the General Election, but only have to live in the district they’re running in for 60 days before he November election. Iowa candidates the U-S House of Representatives have to be Iowa residents, but do NOT have to live in the congressional district they seek to represent.