FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Local Republicans voted Wednesday night to fill the Allen County Council At-Large seat left open when Roy Buskirk died. They chose political consultant Justin Busch.
Seven other men were also vying for the seat: precinct committeeman David Barrett, political campaign staffer Kyle Kerley, former County Councilman Darren Vogt, Christopher Spurr, Mark Hagar, Nathan Hartman, and Kenneth Richardson.
Busch will fill the remainder of the term, which ends at the end of the year.
Local Republicans will caucus again Dec. 8 to fill Buskirk’s four-year term that begins Jan. 1.
While Republicans gather for the two caucuses, Democrats have filed a lawsuit in Allen County court, arguing that Buskirk’s postmortem re-election was null and void and the fourth place candidate, Democrat Palermo Galindo, should win the seat.
Allen County Democratic Party Chairman Jack Morris, on behalf of Galindo, argued in the suit that Indiana Code cites the death of a candidate creates a “late candidate vacancy” which allows for the party chairman to appoint a candidate to fill the spot, which Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine did not do prior to the Nov. 8 election. Morris further claimed in the suit state law states that a vote cast for a candidate who ceases to be a candidate may not be counted as a vote for a successor candidate.
The case is likely to stretch well into the new year.