Judge Lape denies Sec. of State Adams’ petition to dismiss Dusing ballot lawsuit; order will be appealed

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

Kenton County Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape has overruled Secretary of State Michael Adam’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the candidacy of Benjamin G. Dusing for Kenton County Family Court Judge.

The lawsuit filed by attorney and elector Brian Halloran challenged Dusing’s candidacy because his license to practice law has been “temporarily suspended” while he responds to the Kentucky Supreme Court, as he is in the process of doing. Halloran named as parties in the suit Dusing, Secretary Adams, who is the state’s chief elections officer, Gabrielle Summe, Kenton County Clerk, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Board of Elections.

In a hearing held on March 31, Secretary Adams and his legal counsel (a team from Landrum & Shouse in Louisville) asked Judge Lape to dismiss the lawsuit.

He argued that Dusing’s “temporary suspension” does not disqualify him from being on the ballot, citing the language in the state Constitution that says a candidate is qualified if he will be qualified to serve at the time he actually assumes office.

Furthermore, Adams said that at the time Dusing filed to be placed on the ballot he did, indeed, meet the qualifications for office, and Judge Lape acknowledged that was true and that Dusing has not yet had a full hearing on the matter of his “temporary suspension.” In fact, Dusing is well within his time limit for responding to the Supreme Court’s directive.

Judge Lape has ruled that “at this time” Dusing does not meet the requirements for the office, and until his license to practice law is reinstated, he is ineligible to be a candidate for the office. She has further ordered that any votes cast for Dusing in the May primary “shall not (be) counted.”

The order by Judge Lape is official — and subject to appeal.

And that is exactly what Dusing, et. al. intend to do.

Dusing is running as a reform candidate for Kenton County Family Court Judge, based on his experience in the court and his belief in the “rule of law” and that children should come first.

Two other candidates also appear on the ballot in the May primary: Carl Knockelman Jr. and Terri King Schoborg.

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Cross-posted from the Northern Kentucky Tribune.

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