In typical fashion, it’s bizarre.
One of the more bizarre things to happen during the recent filing period: Judge George Powell had his filing rejected because of a filing fee mistake. So he sued.
Powell filed on the last day, and according to the suit, he was told by a party person incorrectly that the fee is $1500, when it was $2500. However, the party would not allow him to correct the mistake, so the lawsuit was filed. They did not have to go far.
Powell and his lawyer, the venerable Kent Schaffer, had a TRO hearing today. After one judge recused, another did conduct a hearing, they were granted a TRO.
Full hearing in early January.
If Judge Powell is not allowed back on the Democratic primary ballot, his challenger [Natalia Cornelio] (who currently works for Comm. Rodney Ellis) would become the de facto Dem. nominee.
That’s from Miya Shay’s Facebook page – as of Tuesday morning, I didn’t see any news stories on this. Stace notes that Judge Powell, who was elected in 2016, should have known the rules, which have not changed any time recently. (That filing fee is not mandatory, by the way. You can collect 750 petition signatures – attend any Dem event in the months before the filing period and you will have multiple opportunities to sign judicial candidate petitions for this – and pay no fee, or collect 250 and pay the $2,500.) To be sure, he should have been given the correct information by whoever processed his filing at the HCDP, and they should do a review to see what went wrong. But in the end, this reinforces two things that I and others say over and over again:
1) The rules for filing for office are well-known and easy to learn. Any marginally competent campaign professional can properly advise you on how to comply with them. There’s really no excuse for this kind of failure.
2) Don’t wait to file till the very last minute if you can help it. Had Judge Powell filed a day earlier, he would have had the time to get this fixed. As it is, his fate is in the hands of another judge. If you someday decide you might want to run for office, don’t let this happen to you. Give yourself some extra time when you file.
(FWIW, Judge Powell was admonished by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, along with several other felony court judges, for violating state law by ordering hearing officers to deny no-cost bail to thousands of poor defendants. I was inclined to support a primary opponent in his race anyway, so whether he makes it back onto the ballot or not is of no great interest to me. There were two other incumbent judges who received that sanction, Herb Ritchie (who is stepping down) and Hazel Jones, who did not get a primary opponent.)
UPDATE: On a not-really-related note, HCDE Trustee Josh Flynn has been disqualified from the Republican primary ballot for HD138. He would have had to resign to have been allowed on the ballot.