SALEM, Mo. – A circuit judge found Rep. Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, did not perform any act that would disqualify him from running for re-election.
Vescovo’s opponent in the 112th House District general election, Democrat Robert Butler, filed a civil lawsuit against the representative claiming that nearly $3,000 in delinquent taxes by two of Vescovo’s companies made him ineligible to run for office.
Judge Kelly Parker of the 42nd Circuit Court found that Butler’s case “failed to meet [its] burden” that Vescovo should be disqualified. Vescovo released a statement saying he was happy with the decision, while also denouncing his opponent’s attempts to “deceive voters.”
“Today, the judge ruled in my favor and against my opponent Robert Butler in Butler’s desperate attempt to mislead and disenfranchise the voters of the 112th District,” he said. “Butler, a failed candidate in a lopsided 20-point loss against me in 2014, misrepresented facts in a partisan attempt to deny voters a choice of candidates in the upcoming election. Robert Butler’s tactics to deceive voters are exactly why so many citizens are frustrated with politics as usual.”
Vescovo also released a tax clearance letter from the Missouri Department of Revenue dated Sept. 8, 2016 that states he has “no delinquencies at this time.”
“Facts and evidence seem to continue to get in my opponents way,” he said. “But to be clear, the Collector of Revenue in Jefferson County (a Democrat) stated that I owe no taxes, Governor Jay Nixon’s (a Democrat) Department of Revenue stated that I owe no taxes and a Judge Kelly Parker (a Democrat) from Dent County took all the evidence into account and ruled in my favor.”
Butler had to wait to file the lawsuit himself until after the primary elections because legal challenges in elections must be made by direct opponents.
Butler ran against Vescovo in 2014 and lost by 20 points.