Dave Kranz: A bump in the road for Dennis Schmidt

I missed this a couple of days ago. In the Argus Leader, Dave Kranz reported that Dennis Schmidt, who unseated Republican Senator J.P. Duniphan, has more problems with his candidacy than getting through the November race:
Republican Dennis Schmidt defeated incumbent Sen. J.P. Duniphan in the Republican primary and is on the ballot now being printed to run against Democrat Dennis Finch.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson says Schmidt's filings with the Secretary of State's office are all in order. He says they do not check back with the auditor's office to match things up with how the person was registered.

"But from what I have been told, records in the Pennington County Auditor's Office had him listed as an independent in January," Nelson said.

The problem is that the Pennington County Auditor's Office had Schmidt listed as an independent when he signed his declaration of candidacy, but then it was changed to Republican. It is not clear where this issue is headed. Maybe to court?
Read it all here.

As I understand, the original registration as an independent took place years and years ago. I think the question I'd ask is if he filled out the petition form himself, or if he did it at the courthouse. And if it was at the courthouse, did they check?

Regardless, this creates a mess for what had been a slam-dunk seat for Republicans.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I don't know the law, but it seems that his declaration of candidacy probably included an affirmation that he was a registered Republican. If that was not the case, the declaration may be invalid. I don't know if he would merely be removed from the ballot, or if he would be replaced by Duniphan. Very interesting - and obviously a mess, with early voting now having beginning
Anonymous said…
Sounds like the Flandreau Santee Tribal Elections. They don't know how to certify canadites either. When Incumbent President Mark Allen got beat. He found a flaw in the law and the tribal court appointed him King I mean President for another 4 years.
Anonymous said…
Several years ago in District 10, the Democratic candidates were removed from the ballot because the notary who attested to their petitions used an unapproved seal. The signatures were valid, the notary was approved, everything was done timely, but the notary made a mistake and they were off the ballot.

This is a case where Dennis Schmidt actually signed the following statement under oath:

"I, Dennis Schmidt, under oath, declare that I am eligible to seek the office for which I am a candidate, that I am registered to vote as a member of the Republican party, and that if I am a legislative candidate I reside in the district from which I am a candidate. If nominated and elected, I will qualify and serve in that office."

If Schmidt was not a Republican at the time he signed the oath, not only are his petitions invalid, but he can be charged with perjury for making a false statement under oath. Most likely he won't be charged with a crime, but he will be removed from the ballot.

Duniphan will not be added to the ballot if Schmidt is removed. The SD Supreme Court has long held that her opportunity to challenge Schmidt's credentials was before the primary election.

The Republicans will not be allowed to add anyone else to the ballot to replace Schmidt. The deadline for substituting candidates was in August. Ballots will have to be reprinted without the name of any Republican candidate - as there is none.

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