Secretary of State Charlie White smiled triumphantly, took his wife’s hand and calmly walked past the reporters waiting to talk to him Tuesday after the Indiana Recount Commission allowed him to keep his job.
But his victory might be short-lived. His job still is in jeopardy.
Even though the bipartisan panel voted 3-0 to reject Democrats’ complaint that he was illegally registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy, the Democrats could appeal to the courts.
White also could be removed from office if he’s convicted on any of the seven felonies he faces in Hamilton County. Those charges, including three counts of voter fraud, stem from questions regarding his residences. His trial is scheduled for Aug. 8.
Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who declined to comment on the commission’s ruling, is among many who have called for White to resign as the state’s top elections official. Daniels would name White’s appointment if he is convicted of a felony.
The Democrats say that, regardless of the commission’s ruling, White has too many problems to be a good leader.
But White has been unwavering in his own defense.
“There is no loss of credibility,” he said after Tuesday’s commission meeting, “and we continue to do great things in this office.”