TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Manhattan man says backlash has him withdrawing his objection to Barack Obama's candidacy.
Joe Montgomery told 13 News he informed the Secretary of State's Office on Friday of his decision.
At a State Objections Board hearing Thursday, Montgomery detailed how he believes Obama isn't eligible to be President because his father was a Kenyan citizen. He also questioned whether Obama had a valid birth certificate.
The Board, comprised of of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, said it would request further documentation and meet again Monday.
Since the hearing, Montgomery says vindictive actions have been directed not just toward him, but also toward his personal and professional associates. He says there haven't been any direct physical threats, but he doesn't want to burden those around him any further because of his personal political views.
“The response to the objection that I filed has been for people to try to contact not only me through email and phone but people that I work with and people in the community around me. This is kind of a small community and I don’t think I should make it a burden for everybody else to try to answer or be on the receiving end of criticism for something that I did as a private citizen and a registered Kansas voter. I’m doing this all on my own. I’m not representing anybody else in the objection that I filed," he told WIBW during an interview Friday.
Montgomery works as communications coordinator for K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Montgomery says he still believes in the issues he raised. He says the Board's decision to gather more information before making a decision shows they believed he had a compelling argument. He says he hopes his actions have started a dialogue for people to learn more about the issues and research candidates.
"The important thing here is to look at the rule of law and I think I made a strong enough case. It’s valid point. The Secretary of State affirms that be saying it wasn’t a frivolous objection but the problem is, the response has been so strong that it’s put other people of the receiving end of criticism that shouldn’t be directed at them," he added.
Montgomery asked for people to respect his privacy and the privacy of those around him.
Kay Curtis of the Secretary of State's Office says the State Objections Board has set its follow-up meeting for 10 am Monday. The agenda contains two items - first to review the objection, second to review Montgomery's withdrawal of the objection.
Curtis says nothing in elections standards addresses the withdrawal of an objection. She cited a section that states the board “possesses broad powers to investigate facts, weigh evidence and draw conclusions as a basis for official action.”
Joe Montgomery's email to the KS Secretary of State:
To Secretary of State Kobach;
I'm hereby formally retracting my objection to the eligibility of President Barack Obama to appear on the Kansas ballot. There has been a great deal of animosity and intimidation directed not only at me, but at people around me, who are both personal and professional associations. I'm don't wish to burden anyone with more of this negative reaction, so please immediately withdraw any action on this objection. Please let me know if there is anything I must sign or if there are any other final business I must attend to.