NATIONAL NEWS

Indiana secretary of state appeals ruling for US Senate candidate seeking GOP nod

Dec 8, 2023, 4:33 PM | Updated: 5:34 pm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana secretary of state is appealing a ruling that a law stipulating voting requirements for a candidate’s party affiliation is unconstitutional in a decision that lifted the hopes of a U.S. Senate hopeful who wants to run as a Republican.

The Indiana attorney general’s office filed the notice of appeal Friday with the Indiana Supreme Court on behalf of Secretary of State Diego Morales.

The filing came a day after a Marion County judge granted an injunction sought by John Rust, the former chair of the egg supplier Rose Acre Farms who is running to replace Sen. Mike Braun. Rust filed a lawsuit in September against Morales, the Indiana Election Commission and Jackson County Republican Party Chair Amanda Lowery to challenge the law and ensure the possibility of his place on the ballot.

The law in question says a candidate’s past two primary elections must be cast with the party the candidate is affiliated with or a county party chair must approve the candidacy. In court documents, Rust argued that this statute “should be struck down as being unconstitutionally vague and overly broad.”

A phone message seeking comment from Rust was left Friday evening by The Associated Press.

Rust voted as a Republican in the 2016 primary but as a Democrat in 2012. He did not vote in the 2020 Republican primary because of the pandemic and the lack of competitive Republican races in Jackson County, the lawsuit said. Rust said his Democratic votes were for people he personally knew.

Lowery, the county’s Republican Party chair, said in a July meeting with Rust that she would not certify him, the lawsuit said. Rust has said Lowery later cited his primary voting record.

In a November hearing, Rust said the law keeps legitimate candidates who have recently moved to Indiana or have switched political identifications from running for office.

In his ruling, Marion County Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Dietrick said the law “unduly burdens Hoosiers’ long recognized right to freely associate with the political party of one’s choosing and to cast one’s vote effectively.”

Should Rust prevail, he still faces an uphill challenge for the GOP nomination. U.S. Rep. Jim Banks has received the endorsement of the Indiana Republican Party and former President Donald Trump. Rust must also fulfill a signature quota for the nomination.

Casting himself as a conservative gay man with an “outsider’s voice” to Washington, D.C., Rust is the former chair of his family business Rose Acre Farms in southern Indiana. Rose Acre Farms identifies itself as the second-largest egg producer in the U.S.

The company was one of four major egg producers in the country accused of fixing the price of eggs in the 2000s. A jury in an Illinois federal court recently ruled the producers conspired to limit the domestic supply of eggs to increase prices between 2004-2008 and ordered the companies to pay $17.7 million in damages. Rose Acre Farms has denied any wrongdoing.

Sen. Mike Braun is vacating the seat in his bid for governor.

National News

Associated Press

Israel-Hamas war protesters temporarily take over building on University of Chicago campus

CHICAGO (AP) — A group protesting the war in Gaza and demanding that the University of Chicago divest from companies doing business with Israel temporarily took over a building on the school’s campus. Members of the group surrounded the Institute of Politics building around 5 p.m. Friday while others made their way inside, the Chicago […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

US intelligence suggests American who vanished in Syria in 2017 has died, daughter says she was told

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have developed specific and highly credible intelligence suggesting that an American citizen who disappeared seven years ago while traveling in Syria has died, the man’s daughter said Saturday. Maryam Kamalmaz said in an interview with The Associated Press that during a meeting in Washington this month with eight senior American […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Widespread power outages from deadly Houston storm raise new risk: hot weather

HOUSTON (AP) — As the Houston area works to clean up and restore power to thousands after deadly storms that left at least seven people dead, it will do so Saturday under a smog warning and as all of southern Texas starts to feel the heat. The National Weather Service in Houston warned that with […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Man shoots his 6-month-old baby multiple times at home near Phoenix, but child expected to survive

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — A man shot his 6-month-old baby multiple times Friday at a home northwest of Phoenix after taking the infant and its mother captive, but the mother escaped with minor injuries and the child was expected to survive, authorities said. They said the status of the suspect remained unknown after a fire […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

Missouri candidate with ties to the KKK can stay on the Republican ballot, judge rules

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A longshot Missouri gubernatorial candidat e with ties to the Ku Klux Klan will stay on the Republican ticket, a judge ruled Friday. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Cotton Walker denied a request by the Missouri GOP to kick Darrell McClanahan out of the August Republican primary. McClanahan is running […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

UN experts say South Sudan is close to securing a $13 billion oil-backed loan from a UAE company

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say South Sudan is close to securing a $13 billion loan from a company in the United Arab Emirates, despite the oil-rich country’s difficulties in managing debts backed by its oil reserves. The panel of experts said in a report to the U.N. Security Council that loan documents it […]

18 hours ago

Indiana secretary of state appeals ruling for US Senate candidate seeking GOP nod