The Vigo County Election Board is to meet at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Terre Haute City Hall Courtroom to hear challenges against two Democratic candidates in the May 5 primary.
The challenges are to Pat Goodwin, a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Vigo County Board of Commissioners, and to Steve Ellis, a candidate for the District 3 seat on the Vigo County Board of Commissioners
Thursday is the deadline for a board decision on the challenges.
Goodwin has been challenged by Terre Haute resident Hobert Roberts, who claims Goodwin is not a Democrat.
Ellis has been challenged by Terre Haute resident Max D. Hasler. He is challenging Ellis’ “use of business name “Top Gun(s)” as a nickname on the ballot, arguing it is not Ellis’ actual nickname.
Goodwin, who ran as an independent in the 2019 mayoral race and narrowly lost to incumbent Republican Mayor Duke Bennett, argues he meets the requirements of a Democratic candidate and maintains the challenge is a political attack.
“I look forward to being able to defend myself against the challenge, and I think I stand on firm legal ground,” Goodwin said Monday.
Ellis says while some people recognize him when they see him or a photo, they don’t always know him by name but some people do call him “Top Guns,” which is the name of the large gun store, shooting range and firearms training center off U.S. 41 and Seventh Street that he owns and operates.
Ellis said he understands Hasler does not want to see the Top Guns name on the ballot.
“We just have to find out if that is breaking any laws and if nicknames are allowed,” Ellis said. “There is not a Sunday that goes by that I don’t go out and someone calls me Top Gun or Top Guns because they don’t know my name and that is how they typically refer to me.
“I have no ill intentions by using the Top Guns name and it is not a ploy to advertise. It actually hurts my business and I have no intent to use this to drum up business,” Ellis said Monday.