Friday, February 15, 2013

Fair's Trial Date Complicates Spring Election

Keith Fair - Racine County booking photo - Oct. 2, 2011
Thursday's JT ran an article reminding Racine voters that City Alderman, Keith Fair will be going to trial before a jury next month. Fair faces felony strangulation and suffocation and misdemeanor battery charges. His trial date has been scheduled for March 12th - after the spring primary election and before the spring general election.

Fair is the incumbent in a four-way race against Jeff Coe, Marlo Harmon and Shana Henderson that will be reduced to two candidates after the February 19th primary.

As the incumbent and with a great deal of name recognition, Fair has a good chance of prevailing in the primary and going to the general election on April 2nd.

However, if he should be found guilty in March - according to Wisconsin law - he would lose his current seat on the common council. Assuming he wins the primary - he could theoretically be elected again just a few weeks later. But if he is convicted in March, he would be prohibited from running for office - so even if he won - he could not hold office and the council would appoint an alderman to replace him.

Now of course, if Fair doesn't win the primary or is not convicted of a felony crime - none of this matters.

Races for the 1st district have always been interesting - the possibilities in this scenario may be the most interesting yet.