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Mayoral Race Likely to Head to Courts

Mayoral Race Likely to Head to Courts

Posted - Oct. 14, 2004 at 4:22 p.m.



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John Daley ReportingThere's been no decision from the Salt Lake County Clerk's office about whether Republican write in candidate Ellis Ivory's name can be placed on the ballot, replacing Mayor Nancy Workman who dropped out two days ago. But a decision could be made soon, if not today, then in the coming days.

Mayoral Race Likely to Head to Courts

The county clerk says attorneys in the county attorneys office have been looking at the legal issues involved and conferring with the state elections office.

Tiani Coleman, chair of the County Republican Party,filed the official papers yesterday requesting Ivory's name be added in place of Workman's. Once there is a decision, the ball will clearly be in the court of the major political parties, candidate Merrill Cook, and their attorneys.

Both parties--and unaffliated candidate Merrill Cook--say they've been considering a lawsuit and once a decision is made we should expect at least one to be filed in the next few days.

The candidates appeared last night on a debate on KSL-TV. Cook in particular is bothered by what's happened, and last night he called the turn of events "dishonest" and suggested a lawsuit is possible.

Merrill Cook, Unaffiliated Candidate for County Mayor: “I think we’ll look at public opinion on this and make a decision on that.”

For his part, Ivory says he'd prefer being on the ballot to being a write-in.

Ellis Ivory, (R) Candidate for County Mayor: “I’m very much better off with it on the ballot.” Q- Did you have consultation with the county party before they filed that request? “No I didn’t.”

Meantime, one veteran political observer is counting on a long fight which could spill over to Election Day and perhaps beyond.

Tim Chambless, Univ. of Utah Political Science Professor: "Historically political questions become legal questions. Americans, when in doubt, go to court. Americans, when in doubt, get a lawyer and they sue."

Another longtime legal observer believes this case very likely would make its way through the courts in time for Election Day, and says ultimately it's likely this case could end up being decided by the Utah Supreme Court.

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