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Craig Guymon

Guymon's election lawsuit dismissed

News Mitchell,South Dakota 57301 http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/craig%20guymon_2.jpg?itok=0duR1DY2
The Daily Republic
Guymon's election lawsuit dismissed
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

A lawsuit filed by a losing candidate contesting the results of the June 2012 election for the Mitchell Board of Education has been dismissed.

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Judge Steven Jensen dismissed the lawsuit filed by Craig Guymon, formerly of Mitchell, on Tuesday after a hearing at the Davison County Courthouse in Mitchell, according to Don Petersen, an attorney with the Morgan Theeler law firm in Mitchell.

Petersen and Rebecca Millan, who is also an attorney with Morgan Theeler, represent the defendants and winning candidates in the school board election held June 5, 2012, Neil Putnam and Theresa Kriese.

That same Election Day, races were held for Mitchell mayor, Davison County treasurer and District 20 state senator, and a referendum on one-way streets.

The results of the election were questioned after errors were found in the first count and led to two more counts two days later. The later counts found fewer votes were cast than initially reported, but did not change any of the outcomes.

Guymon, who now resides in Platte, filed the lawsuit less than two weeks after the election, asking for a judge to order a hand recount or, alternatively, a new election. At the time, Guymon, who finished third in the four-way race for two seats on the school board, said he only wanted an accurate count of the votes and that he did not expect the outcome of the election to change.

The lawsuit was dismissed at the request of the defendants, who argued for the dismissal by showing no actions were taken by either party for more than a year after the initial filings were made in the case.

"There is a statute that says if there is no activity in a year, either party can bring on a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute," Petersen said. "That's what happened in this case."

Guymon objected to the dismissal, according to Millan.

However, in a letter to Jensen, the presiding judge, dated Nov. 26 and included among court documents related to the case, Guymon seems to indicate a desire to withdraw his lawsuit.

"I have honored my military oath by stepping forward, putting it all on the line attempting to share my concerns," Guymon wrote. "It is now time for me to focus all of my efforts on my family members, friends and customers' needs."

Guymon co-owns an insurance agency, Guymon Agency LLC. His license to sell insurance is due to be reviewed soon in light of a recent felony conviction.

In September, Guymon was sentenced to 30 days in jail for voting twice in the school board election last summer, in which he was not a candidate.

Guymon admitted to voting twice — first by absentee ballot early in the day on Election Day, June 4, and then later by normal ballot at the polling place. Absentee ballots were allowed until 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Poll workers found Guymon's name in the poll book and later discovered an absentee ballot with Guymon's name.

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