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Tuesday, November 22, 2016 10:08 pm

Democrat sues over County Council election results

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

A legal challenge to the Allen County Election Board's finding that a dead candidate won a seat on County Council landed in Allen Circuit Court today.

Democrat Palermo (Pal) Galindo, the fourth top vote-getter, contends he should have been named a winner for one of the three contested at-large seats because Republican Roy Buskirk died prior to the election and therefore was no longer a valid candidate.

Galindo is suing the election board, the two other winning Republicans, Robert A. Armstrong and Eric Tippmann, and Buskirk, who died Nov. 4 of cancer. Also listed as defendants are Morrison Agen and David Christopher Roach, the other two Democratic candidates.

"The death of Roy Buskirk created a ballot vacancy," the petition filed by Fort Wayne attorneys James Fenton and Patrick Proctor states.

"The county chairman of Mr. Buskirk's political party did not follow the procedure set forth in (a section of state election law) for filling the vacancy" so "the third candidate certified as elected should have been Galindo as elected," the petition says.

The election board on Monday formally certified the election of Buskirk to state election officials by a vote of 2-1. The Democrat on the three-person board, Fort Wayne attorney Tim Pape, voted against the certification and did not sign the document forwarded to state officials.

For more on this story, read Wednesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 1 a.m.