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Commissioner candidate continues ballot challenge over name of district

Updated: March 28, 2014 8:58AM



VALPARAISO — A candidate for the District 2 seat on the Board of Commissioners in the May primary has asked the attorney for the election board for a copy of the ordinance dividing the county into three districts.

Republican William LaFever challenged opponent Jeff Good’s candidacy because Good filed paperwork noting he was running for Center District, instead of District 2.

The election board determined Feb. 18 that Good could continue his candidacy, it called his error harmless, and not fatal to his campaign.

LaFever said after the hearing he might appeal the board’s ruling in court. Tuesday, he delivered a letter to board attorney Ethan Lowe; to Clerk Karen Martin, a member of the election board; and to the Board of Commissioners, asking for a copy of the ordinance that divides the county into three districts.

LaFever contends there is no Center District by county statute, and Good therefore is seeking an office that does not exist. He asked for the ordinance at the hearing before the election board, but Lowe could not produce it.

LaFever said Wednesday the board made its decision without the necessary documents, and should have tabled the decision until the ordinance was in hand.

“If you can’t produce any documents, you shouldn’t rule on it, for me or against me,” he said.

Lowe, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, responded to LaFever’s request via email on Tuesday, and said, “pursuant to Indiana law the Board has a reasonable time in which to produce any documents that are responsive of your request.”

County attorney Elizabeth Knight responded to LaFever’s request Wednesday with a letter that said unless the clerk or the Voter’s Registration Office had a copy of the ordinance, “a search will need to be conducted through Porter County ordinances for the document you request.”

She noted that county ordinances since 1997 can be found on the county’s website, and all ordinances are available in the commissioners’ office.

Both men face incumbent Nancy Adams in the May primary. The winner faces Democrat Sylvia Graham, an at-large member of the County Council, in November.



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