Judge orders Bush's name off ballot
Kenneth Bush’s name must be removed from the ballot as candidate for the Red Wing City Council at-large seat, Goodhue County District Court Judge Thomas Bibus ruled Monday.
Bibus issued his order after a hearing Friday, which stemmed from a petition Mike Schultz filed raising issues about Bush’s residency and eligibility.
Absentee voting for the Aug. 12 primary begins this Friday, and Bibus said at the hearing he planned to move through the process quickly to keep voting on track.
Bush filed an affidavit of candidacy listing his address at 166 Cannonwood Drive in Red Wing after his first filing with a Stockholm, Wisconsin, address was rejected. Bush has since said he does not live at the Cannonwood address, but it is the last home he had in Red Wing. He said he temporarily moved to Stockholm to pursue a business opportunity and planned to return to Red Wing, likely before the election.
Bibus said in a memorandum that that isn’t enough.
“This intention is not legally sufficient to establish residency,” Bibus wrote. “Mr. Bush is a Wisconsin resident and was not eligible to vote in Minnesota at the time he filed either of the affidavits of candidacy, or even as of the date of the evidentiary hearing.”
Bush said Monday he is disappointed with the verdict but felt the process was fair.
“I thought that both sides honestly had good intentions with what their concerns were about,” Bush said. “At the end of the day we both have the same intentions, which is the betterment of the community.”
Bush said he and his attorney are looking into options for appealing the decision and he hasn’t decided whether he will pursue that, or possibly run as a write-in candidate.
Schultz, a current Red Wing City Council member representing Ward 3 and not seeking re-election, said he was pleased with the process and timeframe.
“I’m happy we have a process in place and I think it’s fair,” Schultz said. “He got to be heard and my side as a petitioner got to be heard.”
Schultz said he hopes this will make the election process better moving forward.
Three other candidates — Erik C. Fridell, Kalista Kaufmann-Willi and Dustin J. Schulenberg — also are seeking the at-large seat on the Red Wing City Council.