The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Politics

February 25, 2014

Challenge withdrawn to Mitchell's candidacy

Mike Gaskill voices concerns with process

ANDERSON – A challenge to the candidacy of Republican Micah Mitchell for the party’s nomination for Madison County treasurer has been withdrawn.

Mike Gaskill, a former member of the Madison County Council, filed the challenge with the Madison County Election Board.

Gaskill’s wife, Kelly, is seeking a second term in the office.

The challenge alleged that Mitchell voted Democrat in the 2012 primary, which would have required a signed waiver from Republican Party Chairman Russ Willis for him to appear on the GOP primary ballot in May.

Voter registration records showed that Mitchell in writing had requested a Republican Party absentee ballot. It was entered on his voter registration record that he voted Democrat.

Willis had filed the necessary waiver for Mitchell to appear on the ballot, but he withdrew it on Feb. 18 when the error in the voter registration records was discovered.

The request for the withdrawal was filed by attorney Jonathan Hughes, who was representing Mike Gaskill.

Following the meeting of the Election Board, Gaskill said he filed the challenge after records showed Mitchell voted Democrat in the 2012 primary. The mistake was found the week after the end of filing.

“I was shocked,” Gaskill said in a press release. “I could not believe that official county records were changed within a matter of a week.”

Gaskill also questioned the timing of the waiver that was signed by Willis for Mitchell to run in the Republican primary. The waiver was withdrawn last week.

He said after reviewing the facts the challenge was withdrawn.

“My decision to withdraw the challenge is based on my steadfast resolve that our government functions best when we engage in democratic elections of all candidates,” Gaskill said. “During my evaluation of county records, I discovered that my concerns here are with how the Madison County Clerk’s office and the Republican Party chairman acted, not with Mr. Mitchell’s voting history.”

Kelly Gaskill is one of a number of GOP incumbents who are facing a primary challenge in 2014.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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