OTTUMWA — Ryan Mitchell, an attorney in Ottumwa, has filed for an injunction seeking removal of seven candidates for school board from the November ballot.

Mitchell originally filed objections to the candidacies of Aaron Luke, Jon Bunt, Leisa Walker, Kent Walker, Krista Tedrow, Robert Wormhoudt, and Sarah Sels. That objection said the petitions filed by the candidates did not include signatures by the petitions’ collectors as required by Iowa law.

The school board voted to allow those candidates to remain on the ballot, saying the absence of the collectors’ signatures did not warrant removal.

Mitchell’s filing is joined by seven of the other candidates: Michael Bower, Morgan Brown, David Weilbrenner, Jeremy Weller, Christina Schark, Joseph Gevock, and Brian Jones. The court petition says the signatories will suffer harm due to the “capricious and illegal decision” of the school board.

Mitchell asked the court for an expedited decision “given the short time frame between the date of filing this petition and the November 5, 2019 school board election.”

The school district accepted service of the case through Andrew Bracken of the Ahlers & Cooney law firm. Bracken, Jason Craig and Emily Colbe have entered appearances as the district’s attorneys for the case. The district has not yet filed a response to the petition.

Judge Lucy Gamon recused herself from the case because she is a resident of both Wapello County and of the Ottumwa Community School District.

Mitchell was not available for comment Wednesday.

Jack Langland can be reached at jlangland@ottumwacourier.com.

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