VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - The Vigo County Election Board has decided on two challenges on the 2020 Primary election ballot.
The two challenges involve Democratic candidates for Vigo County Commissioner.
Pat Goodwin in District 2 and Steve Ellis in District 3.
One person challenged Steve Ellis's use of the nickname 'Top Guns' on his candidacy. That is his business name.
The election board decided to allow the name to stay on the ballot as Steve 'Top Guns' Ellis.
The board said it was up to the challenger to prove that this was not a nickname Ellis was recognized as.
Ultimately, the board voted to allow Ellis to stay on the ballot as Steve 'Top Guns' Ellis.
He said this was simply a way to make sure he was known on the ballot.
"There's no intent there that I would be using this to somehow drum up business, because it hurts the business. If anything, it helps me as a candidate, because that's quite frankly how people know me," said Ellis. The goal is to serve the community, and to do that you need to get elected. If people don't know who you are, then you need to relate to them by the name that they know you as."
Ellis said he was able to talk to the challenger before, and after the meeting.
He volunteered to withdrawal the challenge if it meant Ellis couldn't be on the ballot at all.
The other challenge involved Goodwin running as a Democrat. He ran as an Independent during last November's election.
The election board also gave a green light to Goodwin.
During the meeting, the board read a letter from Hobie Roberts.
He's the one who filed a challenge against Goodwin.
Roberts believed Goodwin could not run on the Democratic ticket.
Goodwin addressed the board with his remarks to the challenge.
The board read a letter from the chair of the Indiana Democratic Party.
It said they do not believe Goodwin should be on the Democratic ballot.
Despite that recommendation, the board voted it "is" legal for him to be listed as a Democrat.
Goodwin and the board both said they're ready to move forward.
"People in our community really don't care about what party someone files under. They want good candidates. They want a healthy discussion about Vigo county's future. They want to have the best people on the ballot in the fall," said Goodwin.
"The more candidates perhaps, the more participation we'll have, as long as legally, all the I's have been dotted and the T's have been crossed. We felt in this instance, it was," said Kara Anderson, President of the Vigo County Election Board.
The Indiana Primary is May 5th.
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