Arkansas Supreme Court Won’t Decide Republican Nominee Eligibility Until After Election

On November 1, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a one-sentence order in Fite v Kilgore, 10-1112.  This is the case over the eligibility of the Republican nominee for state house, 83rd district, Tommy Fite.  The Supreme Court order says, “Petition and amended petition for writ of prohibition are denied without prejudice.”  This appears to mean that if Hite wins the election, the Arkansas Supreme Court will then decide if he is eligible to take office.  His name is on the ballot, but a notice will be posted in the polling places saying that votes for him will not be counted.  The only other candidate on the ballot is the Democratic nominee.  The seat is currently held by a Republican who is not running for re-election.

A lower state court said Fite is not eligible to be a state legislator because in 1984 he plea-bargained to a misdemeanor charge.

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