U.S. Rep. Todd Young will remain on the ballot in what’s set to be a heated battle for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, the Indiana Election Commission decided on Friday.
Young’s candidacy survived two challenges before the commission – one a consolidation of challenges from both the Indiana Democratic Party and his opponent U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman’s campaign, which accused Young of not having enough signatures of registered voters to run for U.S. Senate, and another from Democrats that pointed to signatures the party said should not have been certified due to technical issues.
The meeting was marked by tense exchanges, first between Stutzman’s and Young’s lawyers, and then between Young’s lawyer and a member of the commission. The commission voted 2-2 on both challenges, effectively keeping Young on the ballot. Neither Stutzman nor Young attended the meeting in person.
But Young’s place on the primary ballot isn’t necessarily cemented.
The Democratic Party and Stutzman’s campaign both have the option to challenge the decision of the election commission, a board made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, in the courts.
John Zody, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the party hasn’t yet decided whether it will appeal, but says everyone needs to know Todd Young did not meet the required number of signatures by the deadline.
But commission chairman Bryce Bennett said Democrats did not presented enough evidence to meet the burden of proof needed for a successful challenge.
Young’s campaign said after the hearing that it was always clear the challenge was “a political stunt.”
“There are a lot of ways to win elections, but the path a candidate selects says a lot more about their character than it does about their candidacy,” campaign manager Trevor Foughty said in a statement. “Indiana needs a senator who stands with our conservative principles, not just when it benefits them personally, but when it requires strong character to uphold them. The past two weeks taught us that Marlin Stutzman will cast aside any conviction he claims to hold if it gets him a little further down the road.”