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Indiana Supreme Court pauses order that put John Rust onto GOP primary ballot for U.S. Senate

The Indiana Supreme Court chamber. The justices' five seats are at a long desk.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
The Indiana Supreme Court is considering a challenge to Indiana's ballot access law that determines whether someone can run as a Republican or a Democrat in primary elections.

It’s looking more likely that the Indiana Supreme Court won’t allow southern Indiana egg farmer John Rust to be on the Republican primary ballot for U.S. Senate.

Rust is challenging the state’s ballot access law. It says to run as a Republican or a Democrat in a primary, you must have voted in that party’s primary in the last two primary elections you cast a ballot; or, you have to get the permission of the county party leader where you live.

A trial court last year ruled for Rust, ordering that he be put on the Senate ballot. The state Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Monday.

And now, the Supreme Court has issued a stay of the trial court’s ruling — meaning it paused the order that ensures Rust remains on the ballot.

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While the court’s full ruling is still to come, the stay is a bad sign for Rust’s campaign.

If Rust doesn't make the ballot, U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) will be unopposed in the U.S. Senate Republican primary.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.