The Chairman of Ohio’s Republican Party denies he or his party is behind the challenges to Libertarian Candidate Charlie Earl’s candidacy. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports Libertarian candidates say those statements, which were made as part of a federal court hearing this morning, could be important in the future.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges was emphatic in his denials that neither he nor his party had anything to do with the decision to disqualify Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl from the primary last week.
The court proceedings were not allowed to be recorded for re-broadcast, but Jeremy Pelzer, a reporter with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, was observing Borges as he made his statements.
"He denied all questions about involvement about Ohio Republicans in these challenges," Pelzer said. "He denied that the party sought out any challengers to Earl’s petitions. He denied that any party money was paid to help the legal fees for the challengers. He basically he actually said said anyone who is looking for the conspiracy behind this, it’s just not there."
Borges also said he misspoke when he initially told reporters late last month that the Ohio GOP did have a role in the challenges.
Charlie Earl said Borges didn’t say anything unexpected in this hearing.
"I have not seen that much excrement in one location for such a short time in a long time, since I left my Dad’s farm," Earl said. "And we knew he’d be evasive and we knew he knows nothing but we’ve got it on the record, so that if something pops up that impeaches his testimony, we aren’t going after the party, we are going after him personally, too."
The Libertarians’ case also argues Secretary of State Husted’s ruling violates the first amendment rights of petition circulators and notes conflicts with previous state rulings that allow petition collectors to submit signatures without identifying their employers.
The court is expected to rule on the matter later this week.