EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) A local GOP leader says he is trying to remove a candidate for Evansville mayor from the republican ballot.

Caine Helmer is a new face to the race. He works at Target and has never run for public office. He announced he filed to run in mid-January. Vanderburgh County Republic Party Chairman Mike Duckworth thinks that Helmer should be removed from the ballot.

Duckworth says Helmer is not qualified to run under Indiana law. The law says if you have not voted in the past two republican primaries, the county chairman can decide if a candidate stays on the ballot.

Duckworth says to his knowledge, Helmer has not voted in those races.

“I am going to file papers to remove him for that reason, that to my knowledge, he has not been to a party function. He has not served at any capacity in county government or volunteered in any capacity.”

Helmer defends his decision to not vote. In a statement to Eyewitness News, he says, “The reason I didn’t vote in the last two primaries was because all my time was allocated to working and going to college for nursing. And as far as party events, those can also be chocked up to me working, sleeping, and going to classes 24/7. I would think it admirable and acceptable to miss these events in favor of focusing on a frequently understaffed job that saves lives,” he says.