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State ex rel. Spoonamore v. Wayne County Board of Elections

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Wayne

May 22, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, ex rel. STEPHEN SPOONAMORE Appellee
v.
WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, et al. Appellants

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 2016 CVC-A 000220

          DANIEL R. LUTZ, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATHAN R. SHAKER and ANDREA D. UHLER, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, for Appellant.

          MICHAEL DEWINE, Attorney General, and NICHOLE M. KOPPITCH and SARAH E. PIERCE, Associate Assistant Attorneys General, for Appellant.

          STEPHEN SPOONAMORE, pro se, Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          TEODOSIO, Judge.

         {¶1} Appellants, the Wayne County Board of Elections and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, appeal from the order of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas finding that the appellants abused their discretion in rejecting the independent candidacy of the Appellee, Stephen Spoonamore. We dismiss this appeal as moot.

         I.

         {¶2} In March 2016, Stephen Spoonamore filed a statement of candidacy and nominating petitions seeking to run for State Representative as an independent candidate in the November 2016 general election. The Wayne County Board of Elections held a hearing to determine whether Mr. Spoonamore was unaffiliated with any of Ohio's political parties and eligible to run as an independent candidate, the primary issue being whether voting in the Democratic primary election disqualified him from running as an independent in the subsequent general election. The four-member vote was split, and submitted to the Secretary of State for decision, with the Secretary voting to reject Mr. Spoonamore's independent candidacy. In May 2016, Mr. Spoonamore filed a mandamus action in the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas, seeking an order for the Board of Elections to certify his petition and place his name on the ballot. In June 2016, the court ruled in favor of Mr. Spoonamore, and ordered the Board to accept his petition for candidacy. This appeal followed.

         II.

         WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY GRANTING RELATOR'S WRIT OF MANDAMUS ORDERING THE WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO CERTFY RELATOR'S NOMINATING PETITIONS AND PLACE RELATOR'S NAME ON THE NOVEMBER 8, 2016[, ] GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT AS AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR THE OFFICE OF STATE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE 1ST DISTRICT OF OHIO.

         SECRETARY OF STATE JON HUSTED ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR ONE

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE SECRETARY OF STATE ABUSED HIS DISCRETION BY BREAKING A TIE VOTE IN FAVOR OF REJECTING CERTIFICATION OF STEPHEN SPOONAMORE'S ...

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