Connect with us

Local News

Indiana Supreme Court will determine if Senate candidate John Rust is included on the primary ballot



Indianapolis, Indiana – On Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments over the state’s appeal of a lower court decision that permits a man to run as a Republican for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats despite the state GOP’s disapproval of his candidacy.

According to state law, a candidate cannot run as a Republican in the May primary unless their previous two primary votes were cast with their affiliated party or a county party chair approved their candidacy. However, farmer John Rust challenged the statute, and a lower court found in his favor, granting a temporary injunction that allowed him to run.

Rust, the former head of Rose Acre Farms, a provider of eggs, is a candidate to succeed Sen. Mike Braun, who is leaving the position to pursue a governorship.

Although Rust voted Democrat in 2012, he cast a Republican ballot in the 2016 primary. He claimed that the epidemic and the dearth of strong Republican contests in Jackson County prevented him from casting a ballot in the 2020 Republican primary, and that the Democrats he supported were people he knew personally.

According to the lawsuit, the county head of the Republican Party told Rust during a meeting in July that she would not certify him. Rust claims that she mentioned his primary voting record later on.

In September, Rust filed a lawsuit contesting the statute against Secretary of State Diego Morales, the Indiana Election Commission, and Amanda Lowery, the chair of the Jackson County Republican Party. State records show that Rust officially registered to run for the office on February 5 as a Republican.

On Monday, the five justices of the Indiana Supreme Court asked lawyers about the state’s interest in controlling primary candidates.

Michelle Harter, Rust’s lawyer, claimed that the law erroneously grants the state the authority to carry out a political party’s functions.

According to Benjamin Jones, who is standing in for Morales, candidates are not allowed to identify as members of a certain party. If Rust is kept off the Republican ballot, he can still run as an independent or write-in candidate in the general election, according to him.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush questioned if write-in or independent candidacies are sufficient alternatives. She stated that the appeal would be decided by the court at a later time.

Rust told reporters after the hearing that he thought the court would sustain the decision made by the lower court.

“Elections are for the people to decide,” he said.

Rust has a steep hill to climb to secure the GOP nomination, regardless of the court’s ruling. In the Senate contest, U.S. Representative Jim Banks has received the support of the state GOP and former President Donald Trump. Records on campaign financing show that Rust primarily provided $2.5 million to his campaign last year.

Records show the banks had more than $3 million in cash on hand at the end of the year.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *