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Charlie White

Charlie White

INDIANAPOLIS | A Marion County judge has ruled Republican Charlie White was ineligible to run for Indiana secretary of state in 2010 and ordered the Indiana Recount Commission to certify Democrat Vop Osili as the winner.

The soonest that could happen is next Thursday because state government is closed for the holidays on Friday and Monday and the commission is required to give 48 hours notice before meeting. 

The Recount Commission, through Attorney General Greg Zoeller, also will appeal the ruling by Judge Louis Rosenberg, who said White did not properly establish permanent residency and register to vote at his ex-wife's home early enough to qualify as a candidate for statewide office. 

"The Legislature created different deadlines for voters and candidates," Rosenberg said. "His change of registration for purposes of voting was timely. For purposes of being a candidate, however, his change of registration was not timely."

In June, the Recount Commission agreed White met the candidate eligibility standard. Rosenberg's ruling, dated Wednesday, orders the commission to declare White was not eligible.

Under Indiana law, that makes Osili, the second-place finisher, secretary of state.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker challenged White's eligibility. He said Thursday, "Justice has finally been served.

"As a result of his vote fraud, Charlie White was never eligible to be a candidate for this office, and he's done nothing but embarrass Hoosiers since wrongfully assuming the position," Parker said.

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb said the Indiana Supreme Court should immediately review Rosenberg's ruling.

A.J. Feeney-Ruiz, spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said White is vacationing with his family and had no comment on the judge's decision.

Feeney-Ruiz said White will continue to do the work of secretary of state "as all these moving parts work themselves out."

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Statehouse Bureau Chief

Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.