Bevin Cormack, a Republican candidate for the seat in the 14th congressional district — which includes all of Trumbull County — is seeking to disqualify Patrick Gene Awtrey, another Republican candidate for that position, for “election tampering.”
The Lake County Board of Elections has a protest hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. today.
In his complaint, Cormack wrote that during a February 1 meeting of the Geauga County Tea Party at the Metzenbaum Center in Chesterland, Awtrey left nomination petitions on an unattended table for two hours and collected signatures including he was not a witness.
“Awtrey also signed a statement made under penalty of election tampering that he, the circulator, witnessed the affixing of each signature and verified the qualifications to sign,” Cormack wrote in the complaint. “In addition to Awtrey not following the rules of the petition, I also feel he was taking advantage of the hearing by making them sign papers they didn’t understand or verifying that they were qualified to sign.”
Awtrey’s petitions were on a table among Geauga County Tea Party paperwork as he spoke to the public and asked those in attendance to sign his petition, according to Cormack. He then sat in the front row listening to the other speakers and did not pay attention to those who signed the document, which is an election violation, she wrote.
Awtrey said of the complaint: “It’s 100% false. She’s a little desperate. We’ll have no problem” getting the board to back him up.
Awtrey added: “I witness all the signatures.”
Cormack of Chesterland and Awtrey of Parma Heights both filed for the Republican primary to challenge U.S. Representative Dave Joyce, R-Bainbridge, who was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.
The district includes all of Trumbull, Ashtabula, Lake and Geauga counties and all but two communities in Portage County. Trumbull is the second most populous county in the district behind Lake.
Matt Kilboy of Deerfield is the lone Democrat in the race.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled late Friday that two appeals to the constitutionality of a new congressional map that was approved March 2 by the Ohio Redistricting Commission were “procedurally improper.”
The court “did not retain jurisdiction to review” the Congressional map after ruling Jan. 14 in a 4-3 decision that an early Congressional redistricting plan was unconstitutional due to gerrymandering issues that unfairly favored the Republicans, says the ruling judge.
But the court wrote that nothing in its latest order should prevent the card challengers from filing a new, original lawsuit challenging the validity of the second card.
A new lawsuit from the National Redistricting Action Fund against the second card was filed on Monday.
This map gives the Republicans a 10-3 advantage with two seats in a pile that tilts slightly towards the Democrats.
Among the safe Republican districts is the 14th, which favors that political party by 54.83% compared to 45.17% for the Democrats, according to statewide partisan election information for the last decade provided by the commission. of redistricting.