October 23, 2002
Lee County -- The Lee County Magistrate courtroom was jammed as Judge Jim Thurman declines to issue a warrant against Ed Rynders, the State House District 137 GOP candidate-- saying the voters should decide the issue.
Bill Mitchell, a member of the Craig Mathis campaign committee, requested the warrant application hearing against Rynders. He accused the Republican candidate of using the state seal on two campaign letters, trying to confuse voters that he was the incumbent.
Rynders' lawyer argued that it was not the entire state seal used on the letters, and that the letter was not distributed to the public.
Magistrate Court Judge Jim Thurman said he would not have his court be made a mockery of with cases like these. "This court is not and will not issue a warrant for Mr. Rynders, even though I believe the seal is represented on the letterhead. I believe to do so would be to void common sense."
Ed Rynders said he was sorry that the court and his political supporters' time was wasted in this court case. Mathis said he disagreed with the judge's ruling, and that Rynders had tried to misrepresent himself by using the state seal.
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