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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

city politics

Committee removes Senate candidate John Rust from ballot, rejects Trump challenge


The Indiana Election Committee made multiple defining rulings for the upcoming Indiana Senate and presidential elections. 

On Tuesday, the bipartisan committee featuring two Republicans and two Democrats removed Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Rust from the Republican primary according to an article from State Affairs. The committee also rejected a challenge to remove former President Donald Trump from the state presidential ballot according to an article from WFYI Indianapolis.  

The Rust removal was due to Indiana’s two-primary voting standard law, which states candidates must have voted in their party’s two previous primary elections or receive an exemption from a county party chair to be put on the ballot. Rust, the former board chairman of Rose Acre Farms, voted in the Democratic primaries in 2010 and 2012 prior to voting in the 2016 Republican primary. He has maintained that he has always been a Republican. Rust legally challenged the constitutionality of the law but was ultimately rejected by the Indiana Supreme Court earlier this month. His removal leaves Jim Banks as the sole Republican candidate on the Senate ballot.  

Additionally, the challenge to remove Trump from the ballot was rejected. Monroe County resident Benjamin Kester submitted the challenge on the basis of Trump encouraging the rioters at the Jan. 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The petition argued that Trump violated the 14th Amendment's rule that officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” would not be able to hold office again.  

 Trump’s legal defense claimed the 14th amendment doesn’t apply to electoral candidates and challenged the election committee’s authority to remove candidates from the ballot. The committee ruled 3-1 to keep Trump on the ballot. Republican committee members Litany Pyle and Paul Okeson and Democratic member Suzannah Wilson Overholt voted against the challenge. Karen Celestino-Horseman, a Democrat, cast the lone dissenting vote.  

“I think it’s up to the people of Indiana to decide how Indiana elects its next president,” Okeson said at the meeting.  

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