MOUNT VERNON — An elections complaint filed earlier this week against county treasurer candidate Renee McDaniel has been withdrawn.
Republican Party Chairman Chip McConville told the News on Wednesday afternoon he decided to withdraw the complaint after discussing it with Shelley Coon, treasurer-elect earlier in the day.
Knox County Republican Party Chairman Chip McConville today filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission against Renee McDaniel, Knox County treasurer candidate.
March 5, 2012
“I sat down with Shelley [Wednesday] morning. She thought it would be a good idea. I thought it would be a good idea,” McConville said. “We want to bring the party together and not let this linger out past the election. The voters spoke on this. She thinks, and I think, we’ll just be done with this now.”
McConville did not seek Coon’s thoughts on the complaint before it was filed on Monday.
Coon defeated McDaniel by an unofficial vote of 5,093 to 3,767.
The complaint alleged McDaniel sent out a deceptive “voter guide” to residents in the county that insinuated she held the party’s endorsement for the race. There was no mention of her opponent or the opponents of Thom Collier for the commissioner’s race or Rich Cochran for the Republican State Central Committee seat.
“Their efforts to impact the voters were successful,” McDaniel told the News this morning. “My campaign material had undergone a thorough review and had complied with all of the requirements. There is no requirement to list your opponent in campaign materials. I did receive many positive comments about the postcard.”
Although she is unsure of how much of an impact her campaign saw following Monday’s announcement of the complaint, she is certain voters kept that in mind at the polls.
“I think it definitely impacted the election results,” McDaniel said. “I don’t know that it would have been enough of a change to put me over the top or not, but I’m sure it impacted voters.”
“I think there are some very good arguments in that complaint,” McConville said. “But, we could tie up everybody with litigation time and running everybody down to Columbus for these hearings, but we need to get beyond this and get to the point where people are not trying to pull tricks with the party endorsement.”
When asked if his decision would have been different had the election swung McDaniel’s way, McConville said that was possible.
“That might have made it a little different,” he said. “If you win by a move like that that tries to mimic a party endorsement, that’s a real problem.”
To combat possible future issues with party endorsement and the do’s and don’ts of campaigning, McConville said the Republican Party is working on additions to the bylaws that will create an endorsement policy as well as guidelines for what the party expects, and does not expect, a candidate to do during the course of a campaign. Failure to follow those bylaws could result in “automatic revocation of the endorsement,” McConville said.