Etowah County judge dismisses suit against House District 30 GOP nominee, Craig Lipscomb
A candidate for the Alabama House of Representatives will be on ballots in November, after a lawsuit challenging his candidacy was struck down on Wednesday.
Etowah County Circuit Judge William H. Rhea dismissed a lawsuit filed against Craig Lipscomb – the Republican nominee for Alabama House District 30 – as well as the Alabama GOP, its Chairman Terry Lathan, the state Ethics Commission and its executive director, Tom Albritton.
The suit was brought by Robert McKay, who was beaten by Lipscomb in the July 17 Republican runoff. McKay argued that Lipscomb did not file his Statement of Economic Interest form to the Ethics Commission in time, therefore disqualifying him.
In his final order, Judge Rhea stated that his court does not have jurisdiction over the case, citing Section 17-16-44 of the Alabama Code which limits judges’ jurisdiction over election-related matters.
Rhea also cited specifically Section 17-13-70 of the Alabama Code, which requires those challenging a primary election result to file their challenges within 24 hours after the result has been declared.
McKay filed suit on August 16, almost a month after the primary.
Moreover, those challenges are not to be mediated by judges but the law states, “Such contest shall be heard and tried by the county executive committee as to candidates for county offices and by the state committee as to candidates for all other offices.”
“In a Democracy, we choose our representatives at the ballot box and not in the judicial system,” Lipscomb said in a statement to Yellowhammer News, in part. “It is unfortunate that Mr. McKay chose to abuse our court system in a desperate attempt to override the will of the voters of District 30. We are pleased with today’s court decision to dismiss the frivolous lawsuit that he filed.”
McKay could not be reached for comment.
District 30 includes parts of Etowah and St. Clair Counties and is currently represented by Republican Mack Butler, who ran for the Senate and lost to Andrew Jones.