And then there were three.
Bob Krause announced on March 13 that he is no longer seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, having been "blindsided by the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on nomination petition signature gathering" at this year's Iowa caucuses.
Turnout is always low for non-presidential year caucuses, and many county Democratic committees switched to virtual caucuses due to high levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations and community transmission in early February. A statement released by Krause explained,
“I need 3500 signatures with at least 100 signatures from at least 19 counties. And, to be safe, I needed an additional two to three hundred signatures as a safety for people who may have signed petitions twice or in the wrong county,” said Krause.
“However, when the first caucus signature packets came in and were counted, I only had 1400 and change, which left me with a shortfall of between 2100 and 2400 signatures. Although I am very grateful for the many people who put in extra effort around the state to increase these numbers, it was not enough,” he stated.
Krause did not have the campaign infrastructure to overcome that organizing challenge. Since announcing his candidacy last October, he had not raised or spent enough funds to trigger Federal Election Commission reporting requirements.
In his news release, Krause said he would support the winner of the June 7 primary and the rest of the Democratic ticket, and “will also continue to make my voice heard to save democracy now from the fascism that is creeping into political life."
Asked whether he might endorse one of the remaining candidates before the primary, Krause told Bleeding Heartland via email, "We have three excellent candidates remaining in the race. Each brings a different set of skills to defeat Charles Grassley in the fall, and all are viable. I see no reason to endorse one over the other at this time."
Abby Finkenauer has already qualified for the Democratic primary ballot. The other two remaining candidates, Mike Franken and Glenn Hurst, both plan to submit their nominating papers and signature petitions this week. The filing deadline is 5:00 pm on March 18.
Both U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and State Senator Jim Carlin have qualified for the Republican primary ballot.