Longtime Democrat Voter John Rust Booted from GOP Senate Primary Ballot in Indiana

Plaintiff John Rust speaks with reporters following oral arguments before the Indiana Supr
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Indiana Election Commission has voted to remove businessman and longtime Democrat voter John Rust from the state’s Republican primary ballot for the U.S. Senate.

State Affairs Indiana reporter Tom Davies reported in a post on X Tuesday afternoon and in a subsequent article that the Indiana Election Commission voted to keep Rust from the ballot, leaving Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) as the lone candidate on the GOP ticket. Davies noted the “unanimous decision found Rust didn’t meet the state’s two-primary voting requirement that he’s fought in court” in his post.

The requirement that Rust failed to meet, Code 3-8-2-7, mandates that for one to qualify as a candidate of a party, he or she must have voted on that party’s ballot in the last two primaries they voted in or otherwise be certified by the county chair.

As Breitbart News first reported in July, Rust failed to meet the voting requirement, and Jackson County Party Republican Chairwoman Amanda Lowery opted not to certify Rust according to a lawsuit he filed challenging the law.

Regarding Rust’s primary voting record, Breitbart News reported:

He voted in Democrat primaries in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012, Indiana Statewide Voter Registration System records show. It is unclear what party, if any, Rust was affiliated with between 1997 and 2004, though he did vote in Republican primaries in 1996 and 2016, according to the records.

In the suit, Rust’s counsel contended that he did not vote in the 2020 GOP primary because the date was moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also notes that many Republicans on his county’s ballot that year were running unopposed.

That lawsuit led to a ruling in favor of Rust in Marion Superior Court, which was ultimately stayed by the Indiana Supreme Court on February 15, opening him up to challenges from the public regarding his candidacy, as the Associated Press noted. Six challenges were filed the next day, according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle, putting Rust’s fate in the hands of the election commission.

And separately, while the election commission’s hearing was underway Tuesday, “the state’s high court justices issued an order upholding the law establishing the two-primary requirement,” the Indiana Capital Chronicle noted.

Rust slammed the commission’s ruling in a statement shared via X.

“Today proved that the political insiders are continuing to rig our election. It’s this kind of disregard for Hoosiers that inspired me to run for the U.S. Senate in the first place,” he stated. “ We will be appealing this all the way up to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.”

He contended the “hearing had a predetermined outcome” and he would “never stop fighting for Hoosiers.”


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