Leaders of West Virginia’s Democrat Party have decided if you can’t beat them, sue to remove them from the ballot. But that won’t be as easy as they thought.
A suit brought by the West Virginia Democratic Executive Committee to keep a Republican candidate for House of Delegates off the ballot was dismissed by the Preston County Circuit Court.
The Democrats were seeking a writ of mandamus to keep the Preston County Clerk from putting Republican Melissa Lewis on the November ballot for the 52nd House District. In a July press release, The Democrat Party accused the Preston County native of filing to change her party affiliation from Democrat five days before filing for office. They also accused her of not living in the 52nd District a year prior to filing for office. Lewis is challenging Democrat incumbent Larry Williams.
According to the court filing, Lewis was able to disprove the Democrats’ claims in discovery. The suit was dropped with prejudice, meaning that they can’t bring another case against Lewis.
This is the second suit Democrats filed back in July. The first was against Republican Suzette Raines of the 35th House District. They accused her of not filing campaign finance reports and for not living in her district as well. Raines was not raising any money, and she was able to prove she still resided in her district. But due to the emotional toll of losing her mother calling off her marriage, she was not prepared for the onslaught of deceit from the Democrats and chose to remove her name from the ballot.
Republicans sought to replace Raines on the ballot with Marie Sprouse-McDavid who came in fifth in the May primary for the 35th District. But the State Elections Commission, led by Democrat Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, refused to allow the replacement, leaving the slot empty – three Republicans versus four Democrats.
The Republicans have been forced to sue to get Sprouse-McDavid on the ballot, using legal precedent showing the SEC actions were wrong. In fact, the SEC met in executive session today and determined the state Republican Party has no choice but to sue.
There is no race in West Virginia where Democrats are not being challenged by qualified Republicans. That means tough races were Democrats have to run on their accomplishments. They don’t have many of those, so now they have to resort to shady tactics, like #MailGate to illegally reach voters and lawsuits to keep strong Republicans off the ballot.
West Virginia Democrats are showing how desperate they are to keep their stranglehold over the Mountain State.