The Osceola Republican wants to replace Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack.

Ginny Caligiuri will not appear on the June primary ballot as a Republican candidate for U.S. House District 2, but that has not kept her from campaigning to unseat Rep. Dave Loebsack.

Caligiuri addressed more than two dozen voters Thursday evening during the Des Moines County Republicans' monthly meeting. She began by clarifying her southern drawl, telling the crowd she was raised in Texas but has lived the last 25 years in Iowa.

She now lives in Osceola in Clarke County, one of 24 southeastern and eastern counties located within Iowa's 2nd Congressional District.

When Caligiuri submitted her nomination paperwork to the Iowa secretary of state's office so she could be a Republican candidate on the June 5 primary ballot, a number of the signatures she filed were challenged as invalid.

Christopher Peters, a Republican from Coralville, also is looking to replace Loebsack, a Democrat, in Congress. His campaign challenged Caligiuri's paperwork, alleging at least 14 of the signatures she collected were invalid.

Last month, a panel of state officials upheld the challenge, keeping her off the primary ballot.

Caligiuri said the setback would not deter her candidacy, however, asking the crowd Thursday to write-in her first and last name when they vote in the primary election.

During her brief remarks at the Burlington Golf Club, Caligiuri zipped through some core values, describing herself as pro-life, a believer in "traditional" marriage, someone who would work to shrink the size of the federal government if elected to Congress and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

"We have a mental illness problem in our nation and we have a breakdown in the family. I do believe that is the issue in the nation, it's not the guns that are killing," she said.

She singled out the federal Department of Education as an example of how the U.S. government has grown too large.

"We were never supposed to have that at the federal level, that was always supposed to be at the state and local level," Caligiuri said, noting she currently was taking a class to learn more about the Constitution so she could properly enforce it if elected. "That would be one thing that I would be for dismantling, among many other things."

Caligiuri is a former bank executive, small business owner and entrepreneur who has been active in conservative causes across the state. She served as state director for the Congressional Prayer Caucus, National Governor’s Prayer Team and U.S. National Prayer Council.

She talked to the Des Moines County voters about the importance of Christianity in America and how — using President Donald Trump's catchphrase — we can not "make America great again" without putting Christianity at the center of American life.

"I believe that this nation was founded on the biblical Judeo-Christian foundation and we need to go back to that foundation," she said. "We have a president who is saying, 'Make America great again,' which I am all for, but I do not believe that America is going to be great again until we put God back as first in our nation."