Election Commission boots Bookwalter from ballot, leaves Baird uncontested in 4th District
Plus: After Supreme Court declines case, trials set for Barnetts in neglect case. First up: Did Kristine Barnett violate judge’s gag order? A look at what her Facebook posts say
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Charles Bookwalter will be listed as a Republican candidate for a state delegate on the Boone County primary ballot in May.
But the Indiana Election Commission on Friday took his name off the ballot in his bid against U.S. Rep. Jim Baird for the 4th District nomination, after his candidacy was challenged by Republican Party officials in the congressional district.
Specifically, Bookwalter was dinged for not meeting a 2021 Indiana law that says a major party candidate must have voted in the most recent two primaries or get a waiver from the county party chair to get access to the ballot.
Bookwalter, a retired U.S. Army Green Beret and a business owner living in Thorntown, told the four-member Election Commission during a hearing in Indianapolis that he voted in the 2016 Republican primary but sat out 2020, “because I did not have anyone to vote for.” (He said President Donald Trump and his congressional representative were unopposed, so he didn’t vote.)
He said he understood the law – even though he considered it unconstitutional – and tried to show the Boone County Republican Party chair that there was “no question that I am a Republican,” giving her a 12-page affidavit showing support for the party since he was a student at Indiana University in 2000.
“The GOP chair acknowledged my conservative bona fides, encouraged me to seek a different office and suggested that I wait until 2024,” Bookwalter told the commission Friday. “She said she would not provide the certifications because I had not voted in two primaries. She also stated her support for the incumbent and questioned why I would want to primary him.”
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