The Associated Press
A third-party candidate for state treasurer who was sued over the validity of his candidacy says he’s glad the legal action has been dropped.
Libertarian candidate Ken Moellman said during a televised debate Monday night with the treasurer candidates that he would rather “focus on the issues than deal with legal proceedings.”
Republican candidate K. C. Crosbie said she urged the GOP activists to drop the suit, which alleged that more than half of the 8,100 signatures Moellman had submitted were invalid. The suit was abandoned hours before the debate on Kentucky Educational Television with Crosbie, Moellman and Democratic incumbent Todd Hollenbach.
Crosbie said there were issues with “ thousands” of the signatures, but the legal action wouldn’t be resolved before ballots were printed. Moellman said he collected many more than the required 5,000 signatures because some signers may not turn out be registered voters.
“I appreciate that,” Moellman said after Crosbie explained why she asked the filers to drop the suit.
The candidates were asked during the debate what qualifies them for the job of state treasurer. The state’s top financial officer has a staff of about 30 and a budget of $2.8 million.
Hollenbach said he has had several successes since taking office, including returning $48 million in unclaimed property to citizens in under four years.
Crosbie, who is in her third term as a Lexington city council member, said in some cases it has taken too long for residents to receive the unclaimed property. She said the office has “failed our taxpayers,” and her fiscal conservative background is better suited for the job.
Moellman said he is running to effectively eliminate the office, by removing the top three positions, including the state treasurer post.
“ I believe computers have essentially eliminated the need for the check and balance the treasurer’s office once provided,” Moellman said.
The suit against Moellman, filed last week by Fayette County GOP Chairwoman Carol Rogers and activist DeAnna Brangers, had asked for Moellman’s removal as a candidate.