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The Perry County’s Election Board has disqualified two candidates from May’s primary election, including a Democrat seeking the office of mayor in Cannelton.

County Democrat chairman Ryan Risse filed challenges to Kent Little, Donald Maldeis and Tom Patrick.

Little filed for mayor of Cannelton. Maldeis and Patrick filed for the District 1 Tell City Council seat held by incumbent Councilman Chris Cail. A third Democratic candidate, Larry Kleeman, is also running in District 1 to succeed Cail, who has filed for the office of mayor.

Risse pointed out that Little, had a felony conviction for theft in the 1980s. If he won the race for mayor, Republicans could challenge his ability to serve since, under Indiana law, anyone convicted of a felony cannot hold elected office.

Little denied having a felony conviction, saying he had passed background checks in the past.

County Clerk Mandi Mogan provided Little a copy of the judgment order in which he pleaded guilty to theft.

Democrats challenged Maldeis’ candidacy since he had not voted in any primary election and Risse said he had not taken part in any Democratic party activities.

Maldeis said he was still learning about the political process and claimed not knowing what a primary election was and just wanted to get involved.

Votes to remove Little and Maldeis from the ballot were unanimous.

The changes leave the only contested races in the May 7th primary in District 1, where Patrick will face Larry Kleeman, and for the city’s mayor with Chris Cail and Steve Goodson seeking the nomination and the chance to face incumbent Republican Jim Adams in November.

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