The Bulletin

After Virginia Supreme Court dismisses appeal, Brown says she will run a write-in campaign

By: - September 13, 2018 11:10 am
Independent congressional candidate Shaun Brown outside the John Marshall Courthouse in Richmond on Sept. 5, 2018. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Independent congressional candidate Shaun Brown appears outside the John Marshall Courthouse in Richmond on Sept. 5, 2018. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Shaun Brown, an independent candidate running for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District seat, won’t be on the ballot after the state Supreme Court dismissed her appeal.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge Gregory Rupe decided Sept. 5 that Brown’s name couldn’t be printed on ballots alongside U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Republican, and Democrat Elaine Luria for the election for the Hampton Roads seat.

The petitions Brown submitted to the state to qualify were full of forged signatures and mistakes that disqualified her as a candidate, Rupe ruled. She was required to have 1,000 valid signatures from voters under Virginia law.

Chief Justice Donald Lemons and Judge Cleo Powell ruled that Rupe’s decision wasn’t final because the wording of his order allows Brown to stay on the ballot if she proves she has 1,000 valid signatures. Since it’s not a final decision, the Supreme Court doesn’t need to weigh in, Lemons and Powell wrote.

Brown also didn’t include all the necessary documentation in her filing, the Supreme Court justices wrote.

For now, she will run a write-in campaign, said Newport News attorney James Ellenson, who represented Brown in Circuit Court and filed her Supreme Court appeal.

Ellenson said Brown’s legal team is weighing other legal avenues to get her on the ballot.

Hundreds of Brown’s signatures were submitted by staffers and volunteers for Taylor and appeared to be forged, or belonged to unregistered voters.

A separate criminal investigation is looking into the forgery and election law violations.  

Brown said after Rupe’s decision that she was confident of a successful appeal.

“We’re still running,” she said earlier this month. “And I’ll see you in 2020.”

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Mechelle Hankerson
Mechelle Hankerson

Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Mechelle was with the Virginia Mercury until January 3rd, 2019.