The Marion County Election Board today turned back a challenge that would have removed Republican Bart McAtee from the ballot in the May primary.
At issue was whether McAtee’s candidacy was in violation of the Little Hatch Act which prohibits state and local government employees from running for public office if their jobs are partially funded with federal dollars.
As an officer, McAtee was paid overtime over the years with federal dollars, but by the time he officially filed his candidacy in 2010, he had changed to a new position which did not receive federal money. However, McAtee had formed an exploratory committee for Sheriff in 2007, which did raise money while he was covered by the Hatch Act.
The Election Board held that while there may have been past violations that the law addresses only current and future violations and that whether McAtee should be held accountable for past violations was not within their jurisdiction and should be left up to the voters.
McAtee is challenging Dennis Fishburn who is the GOP’s slated candidate.
The primary is May 4.