Tamyra d’Ippolito, the only Democrat officially seeking the Senate seat now open due to Senator Evan Bayh’s retirement, said early Tuesday she had collected the 4,500 signatures needed to appear on the ballot.
“Yes we do [have the signatures]. We have people all over Indiana filing at this moment,” she said.
Hours later she reversed course, saying she had not collected the signatures, but did not need to since she’s the only candidate that has filed papers seeking the Democratic nomination.
She says she was told by attorneys she doesn’t need any signatures since she’s the only Democrat to file for the seat. Now D’Ippolito says she’s working with attorneys in Washington, D.C. on the fine points of election law to build a case to have her candidacy declared valid.
“Eventually, the way this is going, because I’m not backing down, will probably end up with a judge making a decision,” she said. “If you’re the only Democrat that has filed then you’re the only Democrat whether you have 2,00, 4,000 or 8,000 signatures whatever the matter is.”
Still, d’Ippolito says she’ll continue to file signatures. But Indiana Election Division Co-Director Pam Potesta says all signatures needed to be filed by noon Tuesday.
County clerks are currently validating the signatures d’Ippolito turned in, Potesta says.
“As of 3 P.M. [Tuesday] she had a total of 121 signatures verified,” she said.
Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker says the party’s 32-member committee will take its time selecting a candidate before a June 30th deadline for November’s election.
Among those rumored to be interested at State senator Vi Simpson and Congressmen Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill of the eighth and ninth districts, respectively.