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SJC Democrat Party Chair Lies About GOP Candidate — Attorneys Seek Retraction for Defamation

Diana Hess St. Joseph County Indiana
Diana Hess, St. Joseph County Democrat Chair and Councilmember of the St. Joseph County Council — Photo: Facebook

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Chair of the St. Joseph County Democrat Party, Diana Hess, is under fire for lying in a campaign fundraising email about the Republican candidate for County Assessor. Now, attorneys for candidate Mike Castellon, are demanding Hess retract the false and defamatory statements.

In the email sent on July 12, the St. Joseph County Democrat Party claimed Castellon is accused of committing tax and election fraud. The email falsely claims Castellon is a Florida resident, which would prevent him from running for elected office in St. Joseph County. Castellon is currently collecting a salary as the Penn Township Assessor, which would also be against the law if he were not a resident of St. Joseph County. Subscribe to see the email below.

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Attorneys for Castellon set the record straight, citing facts and state law showing the clear defamation. While Castellon and his wife own a home in Florida, Castellon is still a permanent resident of St. Joseph County. His wife does claim their home in Florida to be her permanent residence and filed for a homestead exemption in her name only. According to Florida law, that homestead claim is legal but because she is married, she is only allowed half of the homestead tax benefit. Indiana law also allows the spouse of an elected official to have a separate permanent residence.

Castellon currently owns a plot of land in St. Joseph County, rents his home in St. Joseph County, filed his taxes in Indiana and has an Indiana driver’s license. Subscribe to see the letter demanding the retraction below.

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Democrats made Castellon’s residency an issue after his Democrat opponent, Ted Booker, filed a bogus candidate challenge with the St. Joseph County Election Board.

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