President Barack Obama will be on the state of Kansas’ presidential ballot this November, after the State Board of Objections unanimously ruled to dismiss the allegations brought forward by Joseph Montgomery, K-State faculty member, that Obama is not eligible for the office.
The Wichita Eagle reported on Monday afternoon that Secretary of State Kris Kobach stated that the board did not have jurisdiction over the matter and that the time for objections had passed.
Montgomery, communications coordinator for the College of Veterinary Medicine, withdrew his objection Friday after himself and his acquaintances were subject to what he called “animosity and intimidation,” according to the New York Daily News. Montgomery’s objection argued that Obama’s father was not a citizen at the time of his son’s birth, rendering Obama ineligible to be president.
Sue Peterson, director of governmental relations at K-State, supported Montgomery’s right to file the objection.
“Joe did that on his own time, and that’s his right as a citizen,” said Peterson, who noted that during the election season, political opinions receive heightened attention.
Ralph C. Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Montgomery’s superior, stated that he had become aware of the objection last week, but declined further comment on the issue.
Montgomery was also the announcer for the K-State Marching Band, a position that he no longer holds.
“Everyone has their opinions, but sometimes you have to be careful with what you say,” said Frank Tracz, director of the band and professor of music. “There is a lot of negativity brought along by this situation, and we decided it was best if he no longer did our announcing.”
Andrew Rickel, Democratic campaign director in Riley County and a K-State student taking a semester off to run the campaign, knows Montgomery from his time with the band.
“I was disappointed because there are more important things going on that we need to focus on,” Rickel said. “It was unfortunate for the university, and for the state of Kansas, that it was framed the way it was.”
According to Rickel, Kobach and the rest of the board handled the situation correctly in accordance with the laws of the state. The board had previously convened on Thursday, postponing a decision on the matter until Monday while waiting for officials from the state of Hawaii to verify Obama’s long form birth certificate, which was released by the White House in April of 2011.
Montgomery did not respond to phone calls requesting comment on this article.