An e-mail from Gina Burgess:
Schrader may still have a shot to be on the ballot
Judge Felts held a hearing today on the matter of Schrader and Burgess versus the Allen County Election Board. The hearing was on Plaintiffs Motion to Correct Error that arose from Defendants Motion to Dismiss. At the heart of the matter was whether Plaintiffs had submitted any summons to the Clerk of Court. Defendants attorney, Tom Hardin, reiterated his case made July 14th that there was no summons.
Plaintiffs attorney, Al Hofer, spent his time in Court primarily representing Plaintiff Burgess. Burgess was told in July by Judge Felts that she had no standing in the election matter. Standing is the right any party has to bring forth a lawsuit. Attorney Hofer contended that the Court may have errored as Burgess’s standing was based on her allegations of Indiana Open Door violations. Hofer stated that Burgess was essentially challenging the process and procedures utilized to remove Schrader from the ballot and that she may have been improperly denied her day in Court to address the matter of the summons. That summons was the basis for the Defendants Motion to Dismiss. The Court would not permit Burgess the opportunity to participate in the hearing on the Motion to Dismiss, as it pertained to the summons, because the Court denied her standing.
Hofer made the argument that when a case involves enforcement of a public right rather than a private right, the plaintiff need not have a special interest in the matter nor be a public official. In the case of election contests, the results of a primary election may be contested by any person who is entitled to vote.
Judge Felts is going to review the case and take the matter under advisement. If he rules that Burgess was improperly denied standing, the matter of Schrader and Burgess v the Allen County Election Board would continue.
Since the July 14th hearing, Burgess filed a formal challenge against George Guido, the candidate the Allen County Democratic Party have placed on the November municipal ballot instead of Schrader. Burgess’ challenge claims that Guido cannot be placed on the ballot because Schrader was never removed from the ballot, that the only way Schrader can be removed from the ballot is either by his voluntary withdrawal or by an Order of the Court, and because there is no such court order on record, there can be no vacancy for which Guido can fill. A meeting has been scheduled for Burgess, Guido and the ACEB to meet to discuss the vacancy/Guido eligibility matter on Tuesday, October 4th at 4:30 pm. This is a public meeting and the general public is welcomed to attend.
In the meantime, the Allen County Democratic Party has made no attempt to secure a court-ordered vacancy as required by Indiana laws. Such an order woudl remove Schrader from the ballot and secure Guido’s placement on the ballot. On June 1st, the Circuit Court held a hearing in the matter of Bynum v Schrader in which the Allen County Democratic Party tried to have Schrader removed from the ballot. The Court, being aware of Schrader’s intent to appeal the ACEB determination of May 13th, dismissed Bynum v Schrader stating that it only served to add another layer of confusion to an already complicated matter. Mike Bynum, chairman of the ACDP, could request the Court to Reinstate the case of Bynum v Schrader in an effort to secure that ruling, create a vacancy and have Guido properly and legally placed on the ballot.