By now the GOP Central Committee members have no doubt met, officially, and voted to consecrate Ellis Ivory as its candidate for Salt Lake County Mayor, officially.
That means that Democratic Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen will, as she said, put Ivory on the ballot. Ivory will get the luxury of abandoning his write-in campaign, not to mention gain the votes of 50,000 people who traditionally vote a straight Republican Party ticket. And that means that the state Democratic Party likely will unleash its threatened suit against Swensen.
It’s not as if the GOP Central Committee hasn’t tried this before. The first time, they tried to support Ivory’s write-in candidacy, Swensen pointed out that members failed to certify him as a replacement for Workman as required by law. The second time the committee met to throw its weight behind Ivory, it failed to post a 10-day notice. Swensen’s a stickler that way. She gets her legal advice from the Lt. Governor’s Elections Office and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office. For Ivory’s ballot hopes, third time’s the charm.
Whenever democracy gets complicated, as is the case here, it’s always good to take a deep breath. But the culprit in all this mess is really quite easy to sort out. Once again, it’s Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman, eking a way through her current felony charges of misusing public funds and claiming stress all the while. Well, at least she admits to being stressed. Seeing her smile every time she walked out of a court hearing was such a convincing show. And all the while, dismal television ads in tow, she insisted on staying in the race for a dismal chance at winning re-election. Having her doctor sign a letter stating that she was too physically or mentally disabled to run, as required by statute for her to be replaced on the ballot, would be tantamount to lying, she said. But then she caved in to her own subconscious demand and quit the race with a doctor’s note. “The stress” would be too much. But is she, as the statute seems to require, physically or mentally disabled?
Workman, in effect, drove the Republican Party into a telephone pole and off into a ditch. But Workman’s good at screwing things up—this time for both political parties. So it’s little wonder state Democratic Chairman Donald Dunn is about to sue the Clerk’s Office if Ivory gets on the ballot with Workman crying “stress” instead of disability. It’s about following the letter and spirit of the law, Dunn says.
So it is. But Salt Lake County attorneys have accepted the letter of Workman’s doctor, even as sticklers for the law howl in frustration.
Perhaps it’s Dunn’s job to clear paths for his candidates. But even Ivory’s Democratic opponent, Peter Corroon, has asked that Dunn not sue. It’s time to get on with the election, details or not.
So it is. Envy Ivory for his luck and money, the biggest two elements that make him a candidate. But, at this point, put him on the ballot. Workman may not be mentally disabled, but she is clearly mentally incompetent. With her finally out of the way, voters deserve an easy way to vote the candidate of their choice. Matters at Salt Lake County have been far too complicated far too long.