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Yes, Iowa law enforcement can wear their uniform while campaigning

A viewer contacted Local 5 asking if it's legal for Iowa law enforcement to wear their uniforms in TV campaign ads. They can, and here's why.

IOWA, Iowa — With just a little over a week until Election Day, more and more political ads are going to play wherever ads are found. 

A viewer named Becky reached out to Local 5's "Verify Your Vote" team after seeing an ad with Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald endorsing Theresa Greenfield. 

Greenfield is the Democrat running against Republican incumbent Joni Ernst for the U.S. Senate. 

"Is it legal for the Story County Sheriff to endorse a political candidate in a TV ad while wearing his uniform?" she asked. 

Yes, it is.

More than 20 years ago, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board decided that it is legal for law enforcement to wear their uniforms while campaigning, including pictures and live events. 

RELATED: Here's how political ads work on Facebook

Iowa law says the state and governing body of a county, city or other political subdivision of the state is prohibited from using any public money for political purposes, such as campaigning. 

Some were concerned that wearing a uniform could mean trouble since most uniforms are paid for with government money. The board came to the conclusion that there isn't a transactional cost that would make it illegal.

Find more information on voting in Iowa by visiting Local 5's Voter Guide. Get the latest election results on the Local 5 Elections page on Election Night.

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