Attorneys argue whether Randy Law should be eligible to stay on primary ballot
By Ed Runyan
The attorney for several people who want Randy Law removed from the primary-election ballot say Law was “frustratingly evasive” when asked at least a dozen times at a March 6 hearing how often he slept at the Clemmens Avenue Northwest home that he listed as his residence.
Law is the former Trumbull County Republican Party chairman and at one time was a state representative.
Atty. Thomas Campbell represents Kevin Wyndham, current county party chairman, and fellow Republicans Cheryl Tennant and Michael Bollas, who have challenged Law’s ability to run for the Republican nomination for 64th District Ohio House of Representatives, a state central committee position and a county central committee position for Ward 1G in Warren.
“He cannot even offer an estimate as to how often he may have slept at the residence in the last two years,” Campbell said of the hearing.
Campbell wrote that a Warren official testified that the water at the home was turned off in September 2016 and there was no water usage there since February 2016. The gas service has been off for more than a year, Campbell said. The water was turned back on earlier this month.
Campbell and Atty. Devon Stanley, who represents Law, were asked to submit written briefs to summarize their positions. The elections board plans to decide the question at the next elections board meeting at noon Monday.
The protestors say Law’s listing the Clemmens home as his residence on board of elections paperwork was inaccurate.
But Stanley argues that Ohio law favors Law because “where you lay your head is not a legal standard for residency determination.” Even if it were, Law “‘lays his head’ at his residence 99 percent of the time when he is in Trumbull County,” Stanley said.
Stanley added that both the Ohio Supreme Court and Trumbull County Board of Elections “have held that even when a person has tried to establish a new residency for purposes of candidacy, a voter’s registration and voting history are determinant, and great weight is given to a person’s claimed voting residence.”
“Law ... has never maintained a residence anywhere but 1446 Clemmens ... and has never voted anywhere but 1446 Clemmens,” Stanley wrote.