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Draper council candidate who missed deadline by a minute loses court fight

Posted at 5:11 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 20:00:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A Draper City Council candidate who missed a filing deadline by a minute has lost a legal fight to get on the ballot.

A judge on Friday rejected Hubert Huh’s request for a restraining order to force Draper to put him on the November ballot. The judge said he should have known all the disclosure deadlines and met them.

“Mr. Huh knew, or should have known, the deadline to submit his campaign finance statement was August 6, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. He had run for Draper City Council once before in 2017. He was familiar with the process and with the requirements to timely file various declarations and disclosures, including his campaign finance statement,” 3rd District Court Judge Keith Kelly wrote in a ruling.

Huh showed up at Draper City Hall at 5:01 p.m. on August 6 to file campaign finance disclosures. But Judge Kelly said in his ruling he did not have the proper papers and didn’t show up with them until 6:38 p.m.

“Therefore, Mr. Huh’s disqualification was proper,” the judge said.

Huh’s attorney, Todd Weiler, brought a number of election officials and campaign veterans to testify on Friday about leeway that has been given to candidates in the past when it came to barely-missed deadlines. Draper City attorneys sought to have the entire case thrown out because some city leaders weren’t served with papers until the night before. The judge rejected that, and heard from the witnesses.

“I feel bad for Mr. Huh. He would have been a great servant for the citizens of Draper City,” Weiler told FOX 13 in a text message following the ruling.

In a statement, Draper City was pleased with the ruling.

“We hope this ruling serves as a reminder that no one is above the law,” Draper Mayor Troy Walker said in the statement. “We didn’t make the law but we are required to strictly enforce it.”