(WKBN) — In Trumbull County, Republican State Rep. Mike Loychik is challenging Independent candidate Jennifer Donnelly’s party affiliation and candidacy certification for the 65th House District.
Loychik is questioning whether Donnelly, his challenger in the upcoming November General Election, is actually an Independent. So much so that he’s filed a complaint with the Board of Elections to challenge both Donnelly’s party affiliation and candidacy certification.
“When we found out that Ms. Donnelly filed, we found some pretty substantial evidence that the Democrat Party was helping her,” said Loychik.
That evidence Loychik says includes Donnelly’s past primary voting record and candidacy paperwork, where members of the Trumbull County Democrat Party, including Chairman Mark Alberini, were signed circulators for her petitions.
“Too many times the Democrats will try to pull this stuff off with siphoning an Independent in there, and most of the time the Republican party doesn’t do anything about it. So, I’m standing up and I’m going to file this complaint and we want her to come out and reveal herself,” said Loychik.
“I think now we’re kind of grasping for straws to make it so there is no opposition in November and to try to get me disqualified from running,” said Donnelly.
Donnelly’s voting record shows she voted Democrat in six of the seven primaries she took part in between 2004 to 2016. The seventh she voted only on issues.
“I did vote in Democratic primaries when I was younger, I am well with outside voting in any primaries as required by the Secretary of State to run as an Independent candidate,” said Donnelly.
Her candidacy was certified by the Board of Elections on August 19.
“I feel like Mr. Loychik wasn’t expecting to have any opposition in November,” said Donnelly.
“I look forward to campaigning it’s a great opportunity for me to go out, talk to voters,” said Loychik.
A hearing on the complaint is scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Board of Elections.