Will he or won't he?

Some are expressing consternation below (and here) about Justice of the Peace Sam Harris's resignation, and whether it will 'stick.'

Apparently, the theory is this:

JP Harris announced his resignation in what is really just a diabolical plan to retain his seat. Seeing a looming defeat due to the recent publication of all of his miscues, he sees only one way out. He will tender his resignation. By doing so, he a) hopes to garner sympathy for 'doing the right thing'with his public statements, and b) depress the turnout of the Fagenstrom voters as well as the anti-Sam Harris voters. Presumably, he has spread the word of his plan among his supporters so they will turn out in force.

Then, on Election Day, if he can eke out a victory, he will make a public statement reneging on his previous resignation. "The people have spoken," he will say, "and they want me to stay in this position." Since his 'official' resignation letter to the County is very carefully worded to include only his present position and term, he will argue that it has no legal effect with respect to the new term that would begin at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2007.
I don't know if this is his plan or not (amazingly, he does not keep me informed of his political plans). I can, say, though, that I think it is highly unlikely that it can or will play out the way that some surmise.

First and foremost, say what you want about Judge Harris, I have not heard anyone disparage his honesty. While his judgment has been questioned, among other things, the people that know him have indicated that he is a truthful individual.

Second, two people that I know and trust spoke with him at length, and they believe him. While they could be wrong, I trust their ability to recognize duplicity. They believe he is sincere if for no other reason than it has grown very difficult for him to do his job in the present climate.

Third, if he reneges there will be significant reaction, here and elsewhere, public and private. I think he understands that.

Fourth, if his diabolical plan is publicized before the election, as it now has been, it won't fool too many people if it turns out to be true, will it?

Again, I believe he intends to honor his word. I think he, like the rest of us, wants it to be over. But, either way, there is one simple solution. Show up on Tuesday and vote for Steven Fagenstrom. Right?


Steven Fagenstrom said...

I certainly trust Sam's word, but if he were to have the majority of the Vote then the County Commissioners would have to choose the next JP and It may or may not be me. And the timing of that selection might goof up the qualifacation process (JPs have to take a class and a test)cause the law says the succesfull candidate takes the test. Simple solution, vote for Me.

GeeGuy said...

Couldn't Justice of the Peace Harris simply refuse to stand for election? Then, MCA Sec. 13-14-118(1) provides: "If after the primary election a candidate is not able to run for the office for any reason, the vacancy must be filled by the candidate next in rank in number of votes received in the primary election."

Then Fagenstrom would be appointed, right?

a-fire-fly said...

Makes more sense to do it that way.

Steven Fagenstrom said...

In my conversations with the County Commisioners and the folks at the election office they say it is too late in the process for Sam to withdraw from the election. Not sure why that is, but I assume they know more about it than I do. Or more paticularly, they have more to say about it than I do.

GeeGuy said...

"13-10-325. Withdrawal from nomination. (1) A candidate for nomination or candidate for election to an office may withdraw from the election by sending a statement of withdrawal to the officer with whom his declaration, petition, or acceptance of nomination was filed. The statement must contain all information necessary to identify the candidate and the office sought and the reason for withdrawal. It shall be sworn or affirmed before an officer empowered to administer oaths. A candidate may not withdraw later than 85 days before a general election or 75 days before a primary election."

He can't formally withdraw his nomination, but he can refuse to stand. It's semantics, I know, but I think it would make a difference.

betalog said...

I find it hard to believe not one person in GF has anything nice to say about Sam Harris. He's still getting my vote. You see, I haven't broken the law so I haven't seen the side of him he uses to DO HIS JOB. Do you realize Steve Fagenstrom is nothing but a bill collector who wants to really stick it to people?

Anonymous said...

Broken the law?

Ever get a parking ticket? Jail time!