Despite legal challenge, Craig Lipscomb will remain on the ballot for House District 30

District 30 runoff challenge dismissed

ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The Republican candidate for Alabama House District 30, will be on the ballot in the November election despite a legal effort to keep him off that ballot.

Craig Lipscomb won the July 17th Republican runoff in that district, only to have his nomination challenged by the losing candidate, former Ashville Mayor Robert McKay.

McKay lost that runoff and claimed Lipscomb didn't file his Statement of Economic Interest form to the Ethics Commission in time.

But in a court hearing in Etowah County Wednesday,  Lipscomb's attorney argued in Etowah County Circuit Court Lipscomb filed well before the deadline, and the ethics commission attorney argued the statement was still current.

Attorney Al Agricola said Lipscomb filed even earlier than required, in November 2017, even though he filed as a candidate in January 2018.

Judge William Rhea, however, dismissed the suit, saying he did not have jurisdiction in the matter.

"I'm pleased that the judge dismissed this frivolous lawsuit," Lipscomb told WBRC after the hearing. "It is unfortunate that Mr. McKay attempted to override the will of the people by attempting to abuse the judicial system. I'm looking forward to getting back to campaigning as the Republican candidate for the Alabama House of Representatives."

McKay left the hearing without comment.

The suit by McKay named the state GOP, the Ethics Commission and Secretary of State John Merrill as well as Lipscomb.

Lipscomb's Democratic opponent in the fall, Jared Vaughn, attended the hearing but was not involved in the case.

After the hearing, Vaughn told WBRC, "It's a sad day for the people of Alabama, because the agencies involved, have allowed themselves to become politicized and are carrying themselves differently when it relates to Republicans than they do Democrats.

"The code sections at issue as it involves Mr. Lipscomb's filing are very plain on their face," Vaughn added. "It's very clear Mr. Lipscomb didn't file the appropriate forms and the code section says he should be removed from the ballot."

Lipscomb and Vaughn face off for the house seat on November 6. The day of the hearing, August 22, was the last day the Democratic or Republican Parties could replace anyone on the Alabama state ballot. District 30 covers parts of Etowah and St. Clair Counties, and is currently represented by Republican Mack Butler. Butler ran for the State Senate and was defeated for the Republican nomination by Andrew Jones.

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