Collins Speaks Out

Lawsuit now “moot” after Crow withdrew from Republican primary
The race for Howell County Collector has moved out of the courtroom and back onto the ballots. Candidate Mark Collins filed a notice of dismissal of his lawsuit against Janet Crow and County Clerk Kelly Waggoner on May 17. 
“The hearing…to determine whether Crow timely filed the affidavit required by 52.010 R.S.Mo. certifying her capability of being bonded is moot because she no longer seeks to appear as a candidate for the office of Howell County Collector on the Republican ticket,” reads the notice. Last week, Janet Crow voluntarily withdrew as a candidate in the Republican primary and announced plans to run as an Independent in the general election scheduled this November. 
The case remains pending as of press time, but Collins told Howell County News he has achieved his goal with the lawsuit.
“Someone that was not a certified candidate should not be on the Republican ballot,” Collins said in a May 22 interview. 
“I’m just following the statutes,” he expanded. “County government is driven by state statutes…An email is not an affidavit.”
RSMo 52.101 is a statute prescribing candidate filing requirements specifically for candidates for county collectors and reads “a copy of a signed affidavit from a surety company authorized to do business in this state, indicating that the candidate meets the statutory bond requirements for the office for which the candidate is filing.”
Collins maintains that the document his opponent filed was an email, not an affidavit. 
In his suit, Collins named City Clerk Kelly Waggoner in her official capacity as the election authority. 
“It is not Kelly’s job to interpret the law,” Collins told the News. “She just signs up candidates, but it is up to the court’s interpretation…The interpretation of the law went before a judge, and he never got to make that ruling because [Janet Crow] withdrew.”
“I stood as much to lose as them. I didn’t know what the court was going to say at the hearing,” Collins said in response to Crow’s voluntary withdrawal, commenting also, “It’s a free country to run as you want.”
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