AppealsUPDATE: FRANFORT, Ky. (8/16/18) — A panel of Kentucky appellate judges upheld a Hopkins County civil action case Wednesday.

According to Kentucky Court of Appeals documents, Appellate Judges Sara Walter Combs, Robert G. Johnson and Kelly Thompson reviewed Hopkins Circuit Judge James Brantley’s decision rendered July 23 in favor of plaintiff William Coursey after the case was heard in court.

Coursey, a registered Democrat of Madisonville, filed the claim March 29 declaring Jeremy Crick, also a Democrat, failed to comply with KRS 118.125 — an election law that requires candidates to have two witness signatures of the same political party upon filing a petition for candidacy.

The higher court denied Crick’s motion to dismiss the case due to Crick’s failure to comply with state statue in filing as a Hopkins County sheriff candidate with witness signatures of one registered Democrat and one Republican.

Crick’s motion to set aside the disqualification error lacked standing, the panel wrote, including his counterclaim that Coursey serving on the Hopkins Board of Elections designated by his employer, Hopkins County Sheriff Matt Sanderson, a Republican on the ballot, was a conflict of interest.

“Coursey did not file the petition challenging Crick’s qualifications in his official capacity,” the appellate court wrote. And, … “any candidate seeking nomination or election in a primary or in a special or regular election may be questioned by any qualified voter entitled to vote for the candidate.”

The judges referenced the Kentucky Supreme Court’s disqualification of a candidate under similar circumstances in Morris v Jefferson County Clerk (1987), when Morris declared his nomination as Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney. One of the affidavits was not a registered Democratic voter when the papers were filed, and registered to vote after the deadline passed.

The Court explained “the law places the duty upon the candidate to support his nomination papers with the affidavits (signatures) of two electors. On a matter which can be so easily determined as whether or not an individual is registered to vote, there is no excuse for the candidate to claim that the affiant claimed to be registered to vote … and it is easy to comply with.”

The appellate court concluded the 1987 ruling is applicable in this case, and it is “undisputed that Crick’s nomination papers were invalid from the onset for failure to contain the signatures of two registered Democratic voters.”

In regard to Crick’s argument that the county clerk failed to notify him of the deficiency and did not give him additional time to remedy the shortcoming, Crick’s reference to KRS 118A.060 does not apply, because it only applies to judicial elections, the record shows.

The panel stated, “This case does not concern a judicial election.”

As a result, Crick will be struck from the General Election ballot. The former deputy indicated last month that he would still run as a write-in candidate regardless of the ruling.

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News
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HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (8/15/18) — The Kentucky Court of Appeals has upheld Hopkins Circuit Court Judge James Brantley's decision to strike a candidate from the Hopkins County General Election ballot.

Democrat Jeremy Crick is not eligible to remain on the ballot for Hopkins County Sheriff. A Frankfort attorney filed an appeal on his behalf after Brantley handed down his decision last month.

Crick indicated last month that he would continue to run for office as a write-in, even if an appeal was not granted.

He was disqualified after a civil complaint was filed by Democrat Will Coursey, who claimed Crick did not have two witness signatures of the same party upon filing a petition to run for sheriff at the Hopkins County Clerk's Office. Coursey and his attorney claimed the petition violated Kentucky election law.

As of today, Hopkins County Sheriff Matt Sanderson, a Republican, remains unopposed.

More information on the Kentucky Court of Appeals decision will be provided later.

SurfKY News

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