Dan Lockard appeals the trial court’s order denying his petition for election contest. Specifically, Lockard argues that the death of his only opponent, Charles Miles, just weeks before the May 2007 Democratic Party primary election for a seat on the Terre Haute City Council rendered Miles ineligible, making Lockard the winner.
Conclusion (slip op. at 9-10): The trial court properly determined that Mullican was elected by the caucus to fill the vacancy created by Miles’ death and victory in the primary election. We therefore affirm the trial court’s denial of Lockard’s petition for election contest. Affirmed.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 2): Because a candidate vacancy that exists on a primary election ballot may not be filled for the primary election, Miles’ name properly remained on the ballot. Because Miles defeated Lockard in the primary election, leaving the Democratic Party without a candidate in the upcoming general election, the caucus process was triggered. The party caucus was held, and John Mullican was selected over Lockard to fill the vacancy created by Miles’ death and victory in the primary. Because Mullican was properly selected to fill the vacancy, we affirm the trial court.
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