By Ronnie Moore
RINGGOLD, Ga. — A judge has dismissed a complaint filed by two officials of the Catoosa County Republican Party seeking to remove nine opinion questions from the GOP primary ballot on July 18.
The lawsuit had named the party and its former chairman as defendants.
The certification of political party candidates, containing the questions at issue, appears proper, Superior Court Judge Jon Wood wrote in his order, adding that the Catoosa County Board of Elections properly processed the information and ballots.
The judge’s ruling followed a 90-minute hearing on June 21 regarding the complaint filed by plaintiffs Clydeen Tomanio and Paul Levi.
This court should not and will not deal with any controversy between the plaintiffs and the defendants Brad Scott and Catoosa County Republican Party involving procedures and events that led to the certification being filed, the order states.
The lawsuit named Mr. Scott in his former role as Catoosa County Republican Party chairman.
I’m glad that in a time of open government people will have the opportunity to vote on issues concerning them, Mr. Scott said. Some elected officials want to keep things a secret.
The questions include whether GOP voters would want to pay more property taxes to fund the Colonnade, the Learning Center and staffing for the sheriff’s department and district attorney.
Mr. Levi said he was informed Wednesday of the judicial ruling.
He’s the judge, Mr. Levi said. It’s his choice. I’ll leave any additional comments to Mrs. Tomanio, our acting party chairman.
Mrs. Tomanio was not available for comment.
County Election Supervisor Ann Marie Cain accepted the GOP certification documents and testified in the hearing.
I’m pleased with the ruling, because I thought our office handled the entire process correctly under our requirements, she said. We are not charged with becoming experts in bylaws or regulations and procedures outlined by any political party.
Mrs. Cain said party requirements may vary from county to county in Georgia.
If we were well versed in procedures of all parties, or one party, I feel sure our office would be accused of political partisanship by someone, she said.
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