State Election Board removes 6th District GOP candidate from ballot


By Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

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INDIANAPOLIS — A Greenwood man running for the Republican nomination in Indiana’s 6th Congressional District was kicked off the ballot by a state commission Tuesday.

The bipartisan Indiana Election Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday to remove Sid Mahant, a trucking company owner who loaned his campaign $2 million, from the Republican primary ballots after Johnson County GOP Chair Beth Boyce filed a candidacy challenge against him. She was joined in the challenge by the Republican party chairs in all 10 other counties that make up the 6th District: Bartholomew, Fayette, Hancock, Henry, Marion, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Union and Wayne.

With Mahant’s removal, there are now only seven people seeking the GOP nomination for the 6th District: Jamison Carrier of Greenwood; Darin Childress and State Sen. Jeff Raatz, both of Richmond; John Jacob, Mike Speedy and Jefferson Shreve of Indianapolis; and Bill Frazier of Muncie.

Boyce’s challenge was based on Mahant’s lack of voting history. Under Indiana law, Republican primary candidates must have either cast a GOP ballot in the last two primary elections they voted in or received a certification from the Republican party chair in the county they reside in that they are a member of the GOP.

Mahant has done neither, also failing to acknowledge this on his declaration of candidacy form, according to the complaint. His voting records show he had only voted in one Indiana primary: the 2018 Republican primary.

Additionally, neither Mahant nor anyone acting on his behalf, reached out to Boyce to have her certify he is a member of the GOP. His voting records show he was registered to vote in Steuben County until Feb. 1, which was the same day he filed his declaration of candidacy claiming residency in Johnson County, specifically in Greenwood.

This meant he had “a brief period of time” to seek Boyce’s certification, but did not, the complaint shows.

Mitch Harper, a Fort Wayne attorney representing Mahant, told the commission the question before them should be when Mahant stopped being a Republican. He had been named a vice precinct committeeman in Steuben County last year by the Steuben County GOP chair, he said.

However, the question at hand was not whether Mahant was a Republican. It was a matter of him meeting the two-primary rule and getting certification from the Johnson County GOP chair to meet state law, commission members said.

While the Steuben County GOP certified him as a vice precinct committeeman in 2023, since he changed his residency to Greenwood, he needed the certification from Johnson County. State law makes this clear, said Suzannah Wilson Overholt, a Democrat and vice chair of the Indiana Election Commission.

There is no residency requirement to run for Congress, Harper said. But in Mahant’s case, there was no certification from any county GOP chair for him to get ballot access in 2024, nor was there enough vote history to do so, said Paul Okeson, a Republican and chair of the election commission.

Harper continued to stress that Mahant was a Republican, leading Republican commission member Litany A. Pyle to remind him that no was one questioning his status as a Republican, including Boyce. He later said the law‘s current interpretation can cause odd situations for people who move across county lines and want to run for office.

Okeson disagreed, saying the commission was only looking at what qualifies someone for ballot access. There are two standards that have to be met and Mahant did not meet them, he said.

This is not the first time the two-primary and the county party chair’s certification requirements have caused issues for candidates.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Rust filed a lawsuit challenging the requirements, saying it barred the vast majority of Hoosiers from running under their preferred party. Six challenges were filed against Rust based on the two-primary rule, with the Indiana Election Commission ruling earlier Tuesday that Rust could not be on the ballot.