- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad on Tuesday submitted nearly three times the nomination petition signatures he needed to put his name on the ballot for re-election this year.

The Republican governor turned in petitions with 10,745 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. The number exceeds the 3,654 he needed to collect by March 14.

Branstad, who announced last month that he would run for his sixth non-consecutive term, said the signatures came from all of the state’s 99 counties - not just the ten counties required to put him on the ballot. He said the signatures are evidence of his strong support across the state.

“I’m humbled and very appreciative,” Branstad said, calling this “the first step in the process.”

Secretary of State Matt Schultz said his office would begin the process of reviewing the signatures, though he said it seemed clear the governor had met the requirements to be on the ballot. The number of signatures required to be on the ballot is based on the number of votes cast for the party’s candidate for president in the 2012 general election.

Branstad is expected to face off with Democrat Jack Hatch, a state senator from Des Moines, in the general election. Hatch said he has gathered the necessary signatures and will submit them before the deadline. Hatch needs at least 4,113 signatures to qualify for the ballot.