Yochum threatens suit over filing in wrong district | NevadaAppeal.com

Yochum threatens suit over filing in wrong district

Merritt "Ike" Yochum

State senate candidate Ike Yochum on Friday threatened to sue if the secretary of state doesn’t return his filing fee and issue “a public apologetic letter” to all news media over the fact he filed in a district he doesn’t live in.

Yochum, an Independent American Party member, filed against Republican Mark Amodei in the Capital Senatorial District. The problem is, he lives in the Washoe Senate 4 district represented by Randolph Townsend of Reno and no one caught the problem until last week, well after the ballots were printed.

Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover said Yochum’s home became part of the Washoe district when the lines were moved during the 2001 reapportionment. He and Secretary of State Elections Deputy Ellick Hsu said it’s the candidate’s responsibility to know which district he lives in and whether he’s eligible to run for a certain office.

“It’s a ministerial function,” said Hsu, who said clerks and his office aren’t allowed to challenge a candidate’s right to file.

And he confirmed Glover’s statement that, under state law, Yochum not only can’t serve if elected (because he lives outside the district), he can’t even get his $100 filing fee refunded.

Yochum said Friday he’s not accepting that answer. In his letter to both Secretary of State Dean Heller and Glover’s office, he threatened a lawsuit if they don’t grant his demands.

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He said the apology to all media and to himself should “set forth responsibility for your incompetence and neglect in not informing myself of the fact that I was filing in the wrong senate district.”

He charged they allowed him to file knowing he was not a resident of the district and said the whole affair has caused “embarrassment, humiliation and permanent and irreparable damage to my good name and reputation as well as discredit to the Independent American Party of Nevada.”

He gave them five days to comply or he will sue.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.