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Election board grants Friedel objection to remove Goggin from ballot

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

A local electoral board ruled on Tuesday that an error on documents filed on behalf of a Greenville attorney who wishes to run for Fayette County state's attorney is grounds to keep him off of the ballot.

But Republican Dan Goggin said he would likely appeal that decision in an attempt to square off against Democratic incumbent Stephen Friedel.

In making its ruling, the electoral board also dismissed Goggin's motion seeking dismissal of an objection Friedel filed last Wednesday in which he asked to remove Goggin as a candidate.

In his objection, Friedel claimed that a statement of candidacy stated that the Republicans chose him as a candidate on March 5, but that the paperwork was not filed until April 3, 29 days after he was chosen as a candidate. Friedel argued that the state election code requires such paperwork to be filed within three days of the party filling the ballot vacancy.

The dismissal motion was the first filing to be heard by the electoral board, which was made up of County Clerk & Recorder Terri D. Braun, Circuit Clerk Marsha Wodtka and County Treasurer Rose Hoover.

Goggin and Fayette County Central Committee Chairman Randy Pollard, who filed the motion to dismiss on Goggins behalf, maintained in their motion seeking dismissal of Friedels cause that he failed to state his interest in the case.

Friedel maintained that he presented himself as a registered voter and the Democratic candidate for states attorney. A discussion between him and Pollard rose to the brink of becoming heated as Friedel repeatedly asked Pollard what else he needed to include in his objection.

Pollard ultimately responded with, I dont know that Im obliged to tell you that.

In response to Friedels objection, Pollard claimed that Goggin was not chosen as a states attorney candidate on March 5, despite what the ballot vacancy resolution stated.

He said that the central committee only chose its officers at the March 5 caucus, and that Goggin did not officially become a candidate until his paperwork was filed with Braun, the county election official, on April 2.

Pollard said that when he filled out the ballot vacancy resolution, he put March 5 as the meeting date simply because that was the last time that the committee met.

How am I supposed to know that means the date of the action (to get on the ballot) instead of the meeting?

Goggin also said the March 5 meeting certainly did not involve me.

Pollard also argued that he sent an e-mail to Braun on March 21 in which he asked what needed to be done to slate a candidate.

That confirms, he said, that the Republicans had yet to legally chose Goggin as their candidate.

Goggin agreed. That clearly indicates that nothing had been done by the Republican Party to this point.

Pollard said the only requirement that he knew of was the one stipulating that April 7 was the final day for an established party to submit a candidate.

As to the e-mail, which Braun did not respond to, Friedel said, It is not the clerks obligation to provide legal advice.

In its written ruling, the electoral board stated, The date of meeting/action to pass a resolution to fill the vacancy should be on or after the date the candidate was selected.

Further, the date of meeting/action and notarization should correspond.

Under the election code, Goggin and the county GOP Central Committee may file an appeal with the circuit court, asking that a judge hear the appeal.

Both Goggin and Pollard said immediately after the ruling that they planned to file an appeal.

The code states that such an appeal must be filed within 10 days of the electoral boards ruling.