Election board reviews challenges, denies one candidate

February 26, 2019

The Allen County Election Board this morning threw one candidate off the Republican ballot for the May primary, but allowed another to remain.

Gone is Matthew P. McLaughlin, who had filed for Fort Wayne mayor. Remaining is Eric V. Tippmann, Republican candidate for an at-large seat on City Council, despite a challenge to residency.

The three-member board also ruled in favor of Tippmann in a challenge to his legitimacy as a Perry Township trustee, saying challenges against officeholders, as opposed to candidates for election, are outside its jurisdiction.

But that status remains to be determined, as board members suggested the proper place for the challenge would be Allen County Superior Court -- or a refiled challenge centering on false statements regarding his candidacy.

In a meeting that lasted more than two hours, the board plowed through 30 challenges to both Republicans and Democrats seeking officer, denying all but the challenge to McLaughlin.

A challenge filed by Fort Wayne resident Susan Richards contended that McLaughlin has no prior Republican voting history and does not have a certification letter from the party chairman allowing him to run for office.

To be placed on a primary election ballot, a candidate must have voted in a previous partisan primary election or have a letter from the party chair certifying their candidacy.