P.O. Box 693 Mexico, Missouri www.mofreedom.org (314) 604-6621
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Dave Roland
February 13, 2015 (314) 604-6621
VICTORY: St. Louis County Officials Add Constitution Party, Redburn To Ballot
Mexico, Missouri—On Thursday, February 12, 2015, U.S. District Judge Ronnie White issued an order requiring St. Louis County officials to place Cindy Redburn on the ballot as the Constitution Party’s nominee to fill the vacant Sixth District seat on the St. Louis County Council. County officials had previously refused to accept Redburn’s candidacy, citing a county charter provision that only permitted the Democrat and Republican parties’ nominees to compete for the vacant seat on the council. The special election is scheduled to be held on April 7, 2015.
“I’m thrilled to be able to offer voters a real choice of candidates in this election,” Redburn said.
Redburn, the Constitution Party of Missouri, and seven voters in the Sixth County Council District filed their lawsuit in federal court on January 30, 2015, after the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners refused to accept Redburn’s declaration of candidacy, either as the Constitution Party’s nominee or as an independent candidate.
“This provision of the St. Louis County Charter was written to completely exclude minor parties and independent candidates from running to fill vacancies on the county council,” explained Dave Roland, director of litigation for the Freedom Center of Missouri and the plaintiffs’ attorney in this case. “It is plainly, ridiculously unconstitutional.”
Faced with a court hearing regarding the validity of this restriction, attorneys representing St. Louis County and the county’s Board of Election Commissioners quickly agreed to put Redburn on the ballot for the upcoming election. But even though state law gives other would-be candidates until February 18, 2015, to submit the materials required to establish one’s candidacy for the vacant office, the government’s attorneys still tried to negotiate a deal that would shut other minor parties and independent candidates out of the race.
“That was just out of the question,” said Redburn. “The other plaintiffs and I took on this case as a matter of principle. We don’t want any special treatment; we want everyone to have their constitutional rights respected.”
“Now that Cindy and the Constitution Party are on the ballot, we are confident that the judge will finish the job by declaring that no government can completely exclude minor parties and independent candidates from being listed on an election ballot,” Roland concluded.
Founded in November 2010, the Freedom Center of Missouri is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to research, litigation, and education in defense of individual liberty and constitutionally limited government. The Freedom Center is one of Missouri’s leading legal advocates for the constitutional protection of liberties secured by the First Amendment.
Additional information about the Freedom Center’s mission, cases, and activities can be found online at www.mofreedom.org.
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[NOTE: To arrange interviews on this subject, journalists may call Dave Roland at (314) 604-6621.]