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Fayette candidate disallowed from ballot after ruling

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A Fayette County Circuit Court judge ruled Monday that former longtime House of Delegates member William T. Louisos Sr. does not have the legal authority to run for Fayette County Commission in November.

Judge John W. Hatcher Jr. ruled that Louisos, a registered Democrat, could not legally file Certificate of Candidacy papers to run as an Independent candidate for the open Valley District seat in the 2016 General Election.

Hatcher’s order was issued just hours after the West Virginia Supreme court upheld a similar decision in a Kanawha County Circuit Court case.

 The Supreme Court upheld a Kanawha County judge’s ruling that Erik Wells cannot appear on the General Election ballot as an independent candidate.

In his order, Hatcher said the Kanawha County case dealt with the same considerations as the Fayette County petition.

Fayette County Prosecutor Larry Harrah filed a petition Aug. 19 to remove Louisos from the ballot, stating that Louisos is registered as a member of the Democratic Party and has not attempted to change his affiliation with the voter’s registration office.

Therefore, Harrah said the certificate of nomination is “improper” because he is a member of a party organization with the power to nominate a candidate for public office. In other words, he could have run as a Democrat in the primary.

Harrah asserts that although Louisos did not file candidacy papers during the proper primary election filing period, he did vote in the election as a Democrat.

Earlier this year, Fayette County Judge Paul Blake ordered the former delegate’s son, William Tom Louisos II, be removed from the ballot before the May 10 primary election.

Blake found that the son had filed candidacy papers on Jan. 29 to represent the Valley District, listing his address as 3930 Dempsey Road in Fayetteville; however, he was living at 554 Jones Ave. in Oak Hill. Jones Avenue is in the Plateau District of Fayette County.

— Email: [email protected]; follow on Twitter @Sarah_E_Plummer

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