TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Pat Goodwin will be allowed to run as a Democrat in May for a Vigo County commission seat despite a challenge arguing he is not a part of the party.

Goodwin filed to run as a Democrat for a county commission seat in the second district.

The Vigo County Election Board Tuesday heard arguments that Goodwin was actually an independent after his unsuccessful mayoral campaign last year.

Goodwin was challenged by Hobert Roberts who claimed Goodwin isn’t a “real Democrat.” Roberts argued Goodwin shouldn’t be allowed to be placed on the ballot as a Democrat because he ran as an independent in the Terre Haute mayoral race last year.

The board voted 3-0 to allow Goodwin to remain on the Democrat ballot after agreeing he met the criteria to run as a party member.

The board also voted to allow Steve Ellis’ nickname to remain on the ballot after it was challenged as “setting a bad precedent.”

Ellis is vying for a county commission seat in the third district. He filed as Steve (Top Guns) Ellis.

Ellis responded to the challenge by stating he was within the legal guidelines for having a nickname.

“Based on my research, I didn’t see anything, any laws, that we had broken.”

He added, using his name was not to promote his business, but to make him more recognizable to the public.

He received a 3-0 vote in favor of keeping the nicknames.

After the meeting came to a conclusion, President of the Vigo County Election Board Kara Anderson said all emotions tied to the matter were left at the door.

“You can’t get someone from the state election division to give you a hard black-and-white answer there, and it’s where they always come back to you we deferred to the local board,” she said. “I think they feel like we perhaps have our finger on the pulse a little bit better at a local level.”

Pat Goodwin pleads his case to the Vigo County Election Board