The Democratic candidate for City Court Judge in Knox has decided to bow out of the race.
HEA 1110 – which was signed into law in May of this year – was particularly influential in the race for City Court Judge in Knox. The law prevents non-attorneys, who are not currently serving, from becoming a City Court Judge. Neither Republican Charles Hasnerl, nor Democrat Angelo Masuka has been described as an attorney.
After conducting some research following a WKVI report that aired on Friday, Masuka says he decided to resign from the campaign.
“It ended up going through. We couldn’t find any loopholes so I can’t actually run anymore,” says Masuka.
Calling the bill language vague, Masuka says he contacted several state elected officials and spoke with lawyers to help him interpret the bill.
The hope was that because he had already run in the primary election, that he might be grandfathered onto the ballot. Masuka says he was unable to find language supporting that position.
He says Starke County Democratic Party officials have been notified of his resignation. The party has until July 6th to find a replacement. Masuka says it may be difficult to find candidates.
“Honestly, I’m not thinking that they’re going to be able to find an attorney,” says Masuka. “Now that we know you have to be an attorney, they might be looking for someone to run, but I don’t know if they’re actually going to be able to find an attorney to do it.”
Language in the bill may still need some interpretation. Starke County Clerk Vicki Cooley is attending a conference at the end of the month to discuss this very issue.
Masuka has called Hasnerl to concede. The 21-year-old says he will continue to consider a future in law or politics.