Josie Swalls-Thompson

Josie Swalls-Thompson

A change of venue has been granted for a petition challenging the election of a new Vigo County treasurer.

Nancy Allsup

Nancy Allsup

Meanwhile, an evidentiary hearing is set for Thursday afternoon in the auditor's race election challenge.

Today, Judge Michael Rader reviewed and granted the motion filed by Josie Swalls-Thompson, the top vote-getter for treasurer in the Nov. 3 election.

Current Treasurer Nancy Allsup is contesting the election of Swalls-Thompson. Allsup claims Swalls-Thompson is a resident of Florida, not Vigo County.

The challenge was filed in Vigo Circuit Court, where Judge Sarah Mullican recused herself and Rader received the appointment as special judge. Soon after, the request for the venue change was filed.

In his order, Rader gives Allsup and Swalls-Thompson seven days to agree on whom to appoint as special judge. If an agreement is reached, the judge will have seven days to accept or reject the case.

If an agreement is not reached, the case will be assigned to the next available judge in the district, the order says.

Swalls-Thompson, the Republican challenger, defeated Democratic incumbent Allsup by 21,657 votes (51.56%) to 20,349 votes (48.44%).

The Allsup petition challenging Swalls-Thompson's residency includes a copy of property tax information with a homestead exemption for a home owned by Swalls-Thompson in Fort Myers, Florida.

Another exhibit is a 2017 marriage license for Swalls-Thompson stating she is a resident of Florida. The petition also states Swalls-Thompson notified the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles on Oct. 8, 2013, she had moved to Florida.

Swalls-Thompson has issued a statement acknowledging she owns property in Florida, but says she has resided in Vigo County since her marriage in 2017.

A Nov. 30 hearing is already set in the case.

Auditor's race challenge

An evidentiary hearing is set for Thursday afternoon in another election challenge.

Current Vigo County Auditor Jim Bramble contends opponent Rebecca Coleman of West Terre Haute was not eligible to run for office due to a previous felony conviction that had not been pardoned, dismissed or expunged.

Coleman defeated Bramble, 22,152 votes to 19,640 votes, for a split of about 53% to 47%.

The Bramble petition includes a copy of the conviction order for Rebecca Reedy, now Rebecca Coleman.

Thursday's hearing will be via video with Judge Lakshmi “Lucky” Reddy.

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Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.

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