Campbell commissioner booted from ballot after primary win moves forward with appeal

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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Campbell County Commissioner Brian Painter narrowly won renomination in the Republican primary last May only to have his name removed from the November ballot after being found to have violated Kentucky’s electioneering laws and the Corrupt Practices Act.

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Charlie Cunningham, who heard the case, ruled that Dave Fischer would replace Painter as the Republican nominee. Painter had defeated Fischer at the polls but Fischer later challenged Painter’s distribution of campaign materials inside the Campbell Co. Fiscal Court building where poll workers were attending a training, and Judge Cunningham agreed that the move violated election law.

Immediately after Cunningham’s decision, Painter’s attorneys, along with the attorneys representing Campbell County Clerk Jim Luersen and the Board of Elections, filed to appeal. The clerk and the BOE are represented separately than Painter. Both groups of attorneys have filed separate appeals.

In an Aug. 18 filing, Jeff Mando, the attorney for Luersen and the BOE, is seeking oral arguments because it “will assist the court in applying the facts of this case to the unsettled interpretations of Kentucky’s prohibition on electioneering and vote buying, and it will serve the public interest,” Mando’s filing reads. 

Further, Mando said that filings by attorney Steve Megerle, who is representing Fischer, are “littered with factual inaccuracies and blatant mischaracterizations of the record.” 

Megerle disagreed. 

“The Clerk and Board of Elections’ bombastically and baldly accuse Appellees of ‘factual inaccuracies’ and ‘blatant mischaracterizations of the record’ without a single example or reference,” Megerle said in his Aug. 22 filing. 

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Further, Megerle said that the court doesn’t have time for oral arguments because there isn’t enough time before the November election. 

“The Clerk and Board of Elections previously requested this matter remain on an expedited calendar,” Megerle says in his filing. “Important deadlines in September relevant to printing ballots and the beginning of absentee voting loom in the background.”

Correction: This article previously stated that attorney Jeff Mando represents Campbell County Commissioner Brian Painter. It has been updated to show that Mando represents Campbell County Clerk Jim Luersen and the county Board of Elections.

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