Two candidates removed from Lewis County Primary Election | News
Two potential candidates for offices in Lewis County have been removed from the Primary Election because both filings indicated a party affiliation that was not supported by a prior affiliation or an Idaho Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form.
This is a new requirement this year, according to Chief Elections Officer Cathy Larson, who says it was brought to her attention that her office erroneously accepted candidate filings for the Lewis County Clerk of the District Court and Commissioner District II positions.
"Shelley Ponozzo, who had filed as a candidate for Clerk of the Court, stated in the Declaration of Candidacy that she is a Democrat when she had affiliated as a Republican in the 2012 Primary Election. Vergial Leroy Grant Jr.’s Declaration for Candidacy for Commissioner District II stated that he is a Democrat but had chosen to be unaffiliated in the 2012 Primary Election," according to a press release.
Idaho Code § 34-704 states “[a]ll political party candidates shall declare their party affiliation in their declaration of candidacy and shall be affiliated with a party at the time of filing. A candidate shall be deemed affiliated with the political party if the candidate submits a party affiliation form along with the declaration of candidacy to the filing official. The filing official shall reject any declaration of candidacy for partisan office in a primary election from candidates who are not affiliated with a political party.”
After much discussion with the Secretary of State’s office, Larson has chosen to remove Ponozzo and Grant from the May 20th Primary Ballot.
"The requirement that the affiliation of candidates on their candidacy form must be the same as their current affiliation is new this year and my office missed these two declarations. I am deeply sorry this happened but in my view and the view of the Secretary of State, the law does not provide an alternative," Larson says.
Larson adds that based upon this information, Grant has filed the required documents to run as a “write-in” candidate as a Democrat for the Commissioner District II position. If he receives a minimum of 5 votes in the Primary election, his name will then appear on the General Ballot in November. Ponozzo will be releasing a statement concerning this matter next week.
If anyone has questions, contact Cathy Larson, Lewis County Clerk at 208-937-2661.