Clark County Clerk candidate dies, appeal to continue

Published: Jan. 1, 2015 at 9:38 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2015 at 10:08 PM EST
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This is a Harrod campaign flyer from November. (Source: Facebook)
This is a Harrod campaign flyer from November. (Source: Facebook)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Clark County clerk candidate Kelly Harrod died Thursday morning, but his attorney said he'd continue challenging recent election results in Harrod's name.

Attorney Larry Wilder said he would file an appeal Friday morning asking a court to overturn a decision that handed November's election to Harrod's opponent.

Harrod, a Republican, appeared to have won the race on election night, leading Democrat Susan Popp by 21 votes. A hand recount reversed the outcome, providing Popp with a 43-vote victory because of numerous ballots that voting machines hadn't initially recorded.

Wilder said Harrod had a heart attack before Christmas and never recovered. The candidate previous said he wanted to pursue an appeal, and Wilder agreed.

"That's the last true conversation that we had face-to-face, and that's a promise that you keep," Wilder said.

Popp officially assumed the clerk's title on Thursday after taking her oath of office in late December. She declined to comment on Harrod's appeal, saying she wanted to keep politics out of the situation.

"Members of the Popp family and Harrod family go back years, outside the scope of politics," she wrote in a statement to WAVE 3 News. "We send our heartfelt condolences to the family at this difficult time."

Wilder said he would appeal 111 ballots that he said didn't have the proper number of clerk's signatures. He also planned to question irregularities produced by voting machines in Charlestown, he said.

Harrod also had an apparent election victory overturned in 1995. That year, he had more votes on election night in the Clark County sheriff's race, only to watch his opponent end up victorious in a recount.

Clark County officials replaced old voting machines with computerized ones that year, Wilder said.

"Fast forward 20 years, Kelly's a winner again on election night in the clerk's race, and there's another recount," Wilder said. "What we learn over the course of 11 days and counting 31,000 ballots by hand is that we're antiquated again.

"Kelly Harrod's election will again move this community forward."

Wilder said he wasn't sure what would happen if he won the appeal and Harrod were to somehow win. That wasn't why he was pursuing the case, he said.

Harrod, a Vietnam veteran and former Jeffersonville Police detective, was 63 years old.

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