Judge keeps Bechthold on Nov. ballot


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Clay County judge ruled Wednesday that J. Ranen Bechthold’s military service should keep him eligible for the November ballot, despite residency concerns brought in a lawsuit by Sen. Ryan Silvey.

Silvey, R-Kansas City, had argued that his Democratic opponent had changed his voter registration to an address outside of the district and was ineligible to run in Clay County.

Bechthold argued that he didn’t know his registration had been changed to an address that wasn’t his parents home in Clay County and he returned his registration to Clay County once he found out it had been moved.

Judge Janet Sutton found that compelling, along with Bechthold’s argument that he had been in active duty military service until March 1, 2016. He maintained his parents address as his permanent address during his military service and bought a home in the Clay County district once his service ended.

“The overwhelming majority of evidence demonstrates that Mr. Bechthold has always intended to be, has always maintained, and but for his service in the U.S. Army, has always been physically a resident within Missouri Senate District 17,” Sutton wrote in her ruling.

Silvey is considering an appeal.