On Tuesday, Kris Glienke, the Cherokee County Election Commissioner, issued the following Notice of Hearing regarding an objection filed by Chuck Clark, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Cherokee County Democratic Party, concerning Chad Dutler's candidacy for County Supervisor as a Democrat.
The Cherokee County Election Commission will hold a hearing today (September 3) at 9 a.m., in the Board of Supervisors Room in the Cherokee County Courthouse, 520 West Main Street on an objection to Chad Dutler's candidacy as a Democrat in the upcoming general election for a position on the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors.
The Hearing will be held before the Cherokee County Auditor, Cherokee County Treasurer, and the Cherokee County Attorney. The objector and candidate will each be given the opportunity to present evidence, and then a decision will be reached by majority vote among the Cherokee County Auditor, Cherokee County Treasurer and the Cherokee County Attorney.
Dutler is running for Cherokee County Board of Supervisors District 3 as a Democrat (as stated on his Affidavit of Candidacy on March 25, 2010). However, the Cherokee County Auditor's Office confirms that he is not registered with a political party. Dutler also listed Ida County on his Affidavit of Candidacy instead of Cherokee County.
Clark's written objection stated that "the record of Chad Dutler as a Democrat as listed on the ballot as a candidate for Cherokee Supervisor of District 3 of Cherokee County. Chad has not requested being a part of the Democrat Party of Cherokee County."
Clark's objection fall under Iowa Code 43.24(1) and states: "Written objections required -- Nomination petitions or certificates of nomination filed under this chapter, which are apparently in conformity with the law are valid unless objection is made in writing."
Also Iowa Code 43.24(2) states "When objections have been filed, notice shall be mailed within 72 hours by certified mail to the candidate affected, addressed to the candidate's place of residence as stated in the candidates affidavit of candidacy or in the certificate of nomination, stating that objections have been made, the nature of the objections, and the time and place of the objections will be considered.
Glienke confirmed that a certified letter has been mailed to Dutler.
Glienke also stated that she notified Dutler several times during the past couple of weeks that he could drop off of the ballot as a Democrat and could re-file as an Independent, but that he had to do so prior to the Iowa Secretary of State's filing deadline of Aug. 25.
Dutler also had an opportunity to register himself as a Democrat prior to the June 30 Primary Election. Clark's objection was filed at the Secretary of State's Office on Aug. 30, which was the filing deadline for objections.
As stated in Iowa Code 44.7: "Hearing before commissioner -- objections filed with the commissioner shall be considered by the county auditor, county treasure, and county attorney, and a majority decision shall be final."
If the objection is ruled in Clark's favor, Dutler will not appear on November's General Ballot. With the filing deadline passed, Dutler could still mount a write-in campaign on the day of election, should he choose to do so.
If the objection is ruled in Dutler's favor, he will face incumbent Jeff Simonsen (Republican) in the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors District 3 race on Nov. 2.