25th District Democratic hopeful mistakenly disqualified

The error has been corrected, and Baker was back in the race Monday.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:47 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

An error at the Missouri Ethics Commission caused a local candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives to be mistakenly disqualified from the Aug. 6 primary election.

Local Democrat Judy Baker, the party’s fund-raising leader in Boone County’s 25th District legislative race, learned late last week that she was disqualified along with two other area candidates for failing to file her personal finance disclosure forms before the April 20 deadline. The mistake was corrected Monday.

The others, 25th District House candidate Rick Raven, a Democrat from Columbia, and 19th District Senate candidate A. Sage, a Republican from Moberly, were disqualified correctly, according to the commission.

“I had a really long weekend after hearing my name was printed ... as someone who had not filed the necessary form,” Baker said in a statement Monday. “But I was sure that fairness would prevail in the end.”

Raven, a student at MU, said he simply did not realize he had to file the personal finance disclosure form and has considered appealing his disqualification to a state court — the only way he could be placed back on the ballot.

“It worries me that a technicality or oversight might keep me from the race,” Raven said.

Sage could not be reached for comment.

The effect

Being disqualified at this stage often heralds the death of campaigns. Of the few candidates who are kicked off the ballots statewide each year — this year there are 11 — only one or two usually appeal their disqualifications, said Mike Reid, compliance director for the commission.

Candidates are given two deadlines to file finance disclosures: one on April 13 and, after a seven-day grace period, another on April 20. Other forms, including a quarterly report of fund-raising activity, are due at almost the same time.

According to those quarterly reports, Baker led in fund-raising among 25th District Democrats with $9,840. The district’s Republican candidate, Joel Jeffries, has raised $51,500. The winner of the race will replace Vicky Riback Wilson, who will be removed from the House by term limits at the end of this legislative session.

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