DECATUR – The Adams County Election Board voted 2-1 today to disqualify Daniel Rickord as the Democratic nominee for mayor of Decatur.
The board sustained a challenge by the county Republican Party, which contended that Rickord had failed to declare his candidacy in writing before a state-imposed June 30 deadline. The election board's decision means that Republican Mayor Kenneth Meyer will be unopposed in the Nov. 5 municipal election.
"I'm stumped right now. I'm amazed," Rickord said after the board hearing in the courthouse. "I feel bad for the citizens of Decatur. I believe (the board) should have done what was right for the citizens and let them vote."
Rickord and Democratic Party Chairwoman Barb Engle argued that an oral declaration of candidacy Rickord made to Engle on June 27 satisfied the state requirement and that they filed necessary paperwork with the county clerk ahead of a July 3 deadline.
The two Republican members of the election board, Wes Kuntzman and James Voglewede, voted in favor of the GOP's challenge. The Democrat on the board, John Minch, opposed the action. The Republican members earlier defeated a motion by Minch to reject the challenge.
Engle said after the votes that the Republican Party's challenge to Rickord's candidacy was "a political game" devised to prevent a contested mayoral election.