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12Oaks's avatar

If you were the judge, how would you rule?

Asked by 12Oaks (4033 points ) March 24th, 2011

I’ll include the facts behind this, but won’t mention any political parties involved to avoid any party-line opinions.

Candidate A challenged for an elected local office as an affiliated party member four years ago and lost. The next election a couple years later, Candidate A ran for another post as an independent and won. Candidate A still serves that post as an independent. Candidate A once again wants to challenge for the seat they lost in the first race, running in the same affiliated party as they had before. This was challenged by the opposition party, stating that you can’t run for an office as an affiliated party candidate while you serve another office as an independent. The judge made his ruling, and it’s being appealed, of course.

If you were the judge, how would you rule? If you need any clarification on the matter I’d be happy to answer any relative questions you may have.

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10 Answers

bolwerk's avatar

Doesn’t this depend entirely on the state/provincial law of the place in question? Judges, in theory, aren’t supposed to arbitrarily make rules. (In practice, they do if there isn’t a rule available to them.)

jaytkay's avatar

I could not rule without knowing local election law.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The judge made his ruling, and it’s being appealed, of course.

Meaning there is some question in regards to whether the law was followed? Or whether there was a procedural error? or? Do you have the appeal details?

optimisticpessimist's avatar

Having not heard the arguments of either side and presuming a blank slate in terms of election law (as I guess that is what you want us to do), I would rule that the politician cannot run for the post under a different political party when he is already filling a position supported by another party (if you are meaning independent party not just independent.) If they are filling the position as an independent (presuming this to mean the party had backed someone else so he could only run independently) with no party backing, I would rule he could run if the party wants him to.

As a voter, I doubt I would vote for someone who flip-flopped for nomination and election.

YARNLADY's avatar

In my opinion, anyone can run for any office, anytime, without regard to their current party affiliation. I do not know the law in this regard.

12Oaks's avatar

@optimisticpessimist Not an independent party, but as an independent non-affiliated candidate. Here’s the appeal story, edited to edit out bias…...

(Place) Court Judge (name) will hear an appeal Thursday by (Candidate A) to return (them) to the (date) ballot as a (Political party) candidate for (position).

(City) attorney (Name) said Monday morning (Judge) has accepted the case after he and lawyers for the county election board chose him as a special judge to hear the case in his courtroom here.

The (Opposition party) majority on the elections board disqualified (Candidate A) as a candidate earlier this month after (Lady A), a (City) resident, challenged (Candidate A) on grounds he already holds a nonpartisan public office on the (Current position held) board.

She claims (Candidate A), who nearly defeated incumbent (Name) four years ago, was improperly bringing politics into school affairs and was trying to hold two lucrative public offices at the same time.

(Name) is arguing (Opposition party member’s) challenge should be overturned because there is no legal prohibition to (Candidate A) running for (Position) while holding a nonpartisan office, since (Candidate A) can choose to resign from the (Current seat held) or not accept the (Office running for) position, if (Candidate A) is elected.

Lawyers for both sides hope for a quick resolution. Election Day is six weeks away and county election officials last weekend began mailing out absentee ballots without (Candidate A’s) name on it.

(Person) of (Place) director of place elections and voter registration, said, “We can’t put (Candidate A) on the ballot until (Candidate A) and the court puts (Person A) back on.
People who applied for absentee ballots as early as January wanted an absentee ballot when it was ready. By law, the ballots had to be printed up by (March 14), and (Saturday) is the day we sent the first group out.”

She said early ballots are few in number. “It’s kind of quiet,” she said, adding she expects requests to increase as the April 25 deadline for requesting mail-in absentee ballots approaches. In-person early voting begins April 4.

She said if (Candidate A) wins his appeal, voters who received the ballot without his name can request new ballots with (Candidate A’s) name.

everephebe's avatar

If Candidate A ran and won as an affiliated party and then while still in office ran as a different affiliated party, that would be trouble. If Candidate A ran and won as an affiliated party and then while still in office ran as an independent, I might have trouble with that.

But since Candidate A was an independent, it’s ok by me, to run as an affiliated party. Although, I would have to say wait till your out of office to do that sort of thing if you can. Why can’t Candidate A leave their post to run? If they leave their post switching wouldn’t matter at all, except to the voters. Now if this is reelection… As long as they don’t switch to another affiliated party, they’d be ok.

filmfann's avatar

Candidates occasionally change parties while in office, and there is no recourse to that.
The Candidate should be allowed to do what they are trying to do, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be exposed for being a conniving dick.

12Oaks's avatar

In case you’re wondering on an update on this issue. Last Saturday, there was to be a primary debate. The one in question was in attendance. One candidate wasn’t invited, and one wasn’t available this date. One more showed up. In his opening statement, he said that since the only other participant of this debate wasn’t officially on the ballot (something he knew when he accepted) he refused to debate and walked out of the debate. There happened to be an opposition party primary candidate in the audience, and he was invited up on the moment and debate the candidate who isn’t on the ballot. The official decision on whether or not the questionable candidate is allowed on the ballot is to be made sometime this week.

As another aside, after that unnecessary publicity stunt, the candidate who walked out would NEVER get my vote. As the questioned candidate said in his opening statement, he obviously isn’t mature enough to serve in the office they are running for.

reijinni's avatar

Candidate A should at least waited for his term as independent to expire before running on a party ticket.

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