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Indiana judge allows GOP to substitute candidate

The Indianapolis Star reports: A Marion County judge ruled today that Rep. R. Brooks LaPlante should be the Republican choice on the November ballot in House District 46 in west central Indiana.

And in an order that could have far-reaching implications, Judge Gary L. Miller also ruled that all absentee ballots cast in this district, which includes Terre Haute, are void. That doesn't just affect the legislative race, but it also would void all votes cast in what's likely to be a close governor's race.

The fight over whose name is on the ballot began when Jeff Lee, who won the May primary, suddenly moved out of the district, creating the vacancy.

Republicans want to replace him with LaPlante, whose first term in office was plagued with campaign finance problems. LaPlante decided not to run for re-election earlier this year.

Democrats charge that Lee really didn't move, and that this was a last-ditch effort by Republicans who saw their chances of winning this seat slipping away. Democrat Vern Tincher is running in this race. -- Judge's ruling puts House race in turmoil (indystar.com)

The Democrats had earlier won on this same candidate switch in Vigo County. Marcia Oddi has more background on her Indiana Law blog, including the fact that this is Lee's second withdrawal. Because of that the GOP contends the Vigo County decision does not apply.