EL RENO — The race for the Canadian County court clerk's office may be one of the nastiest in the state.
The challenger and incumbent butted heads long before the race began and likely will continue to do so until the June 26 primary.
There are lawsuits, allegations of sexual misconduct, missing campaign signs and one of the candidates recently woke up to find his car covered in “fish guts.”
Incumbent Marie Ramsey, wrapping up her first term in office, said she doesn't “even like to say his name” when speaking about Edward Kremeier, her opponent in the upcoming Republican primary elections. There are no other candidates.
“He has no experience whatsoever in running a court clerk's office,” Ramsey said. “He's running for court clerk because of a personal vendetta against me.”
Kremeier, 51, a full-time business student at the University of Central Oklahoma, said he's running for the post because of his experiences with Ramsey, who he claims skirts state law and handles sensitive, confidential documents with little care.
“This woman is dangerous,” the challenger said. “She is a liability to Canadian County and the state of Oklahoma.”
Indeed, the race to become Canadian County's court clerk for the next four years isn't a pleasant one. But more interesting, perhaps, is how it got to this point.
Kremeier said he first “had a run-in” with Ramsey in October 2010 when he came into the county office and asked to see a copy of his own divorce, which was sealed by a judge's order.
Because he was acting as his own attorney, he had access to the sealed document, he said.
“I was stunned and shocked that they let me see the divorce case — since it was sealed,” he said. “And the clerk who helped me ... she had never seen me before.”
Ramsey, 49, has a simple explanation, saying Kremeier had been in the office so much during that time period that “those ladies knew exactly who he was.”
“It's just common sense,” she said. “If you know somebody, you don't make them show ID every time they walk up to the counter.”
A few months later, the two would clash again when Kremeier attempted to obtain a process server license in Canadian County.
Ramsey filed an official protest because of Kremeier's behavior in the court clerk's office, she said, and because she stumbled across sexual abuse allegations in a protective order filed in Oklahoma County.
At the heart of the dispute seems to be Kremeier's desire to keep certain information surrounding his divorce cases hidden from the public. He says it's information that would violate the privacy of one of his children if made available to the public.
Kremeier has been married three times since the late 1990s, according to court records, with all three marriages ending in divorce.
Documents associated with two of the divorces are sealed and can't be viewed by the public, but a lawsuit filed by Kremeier against a marriage counselor may shed some light.
In the lawsuit, filed earlier this year in Oklahoma County, Kremeier claims the counselor “falsely reported to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services that (he) had admitted to her that he sexually molested” a young girl.
The counselor denied the allegation that she lied to DHS, according to court records.
Kremeier had sued the counselor in 2010, in Canadian County, but the case was dismissed by a judge.
“My ex-wife told the counselor many lies ... and I think it's important to remember that this all happened while we were going through a divorce,” he said.
Ramsey said the information shows that Kremeier is a danger to society, which is why she protested his application to become a process server.
“Why else does he want to hide all this information from the public?” she asked. “He doesn't want the public to find out the horrible things he's done to people.
“That is why I protested, to keep the public in Canadian County from having to have process served on them by this man.”
Kremeier sued Ramsey in Canadian County back in March, alleging that she made statements in her protest that show she has viewed sealed documents from his divorce. The case is pending.
Kremeier sued his ex-wife in November 2010 and has two pending cases related to his business, Egghead Telecom Inc., pending in civil court. He is also being sued by his ex-wife.
In 2005, Kremeier and his ex-wife filed for bankruptcy, claiming nearly $250,000 in unsecured debt, mostly in the form of credit cards.
As for his opponent, Ramsey was sued in federal court in 2008 for allegedly sexually harassing co-workers at the Canadian County court clerk's office. The complaint stated that she rubbed her breasts against a male co-worker's back while looking over his shoulder and that she often made inappropriate comments around the office.
The suit was dismissed by a federal judge.
“It was two weeks before the primary that year, when the suit was filed,” she said. “It was completely politically motivated ... and it was dismissed because it had no merit. It never happened.”
Ramsey said her opponent uses and abuses the legal system, and that his behavior only seems to be escalating as more time passes.
When Kremeier walked out of his Yukon home early on the morning of May 25, he said he immediately detected a foul odor emanating from close by.
“I walked up to my car, and it's covered with fish guts,” Kremeier said. “And not only that, but someone had sprayed foam insulation into my muffler.”
A police report filed with the Yukon Police Department shows that Kremeier didn't name any suspects, but indicated that “the incident occurred as a result of the upcoming political election.”
Kremeier says he has received several “hate” emails from the public over the past few months. He also claims that “several” of his campaign signs have been stolen recently.
Ramsey denied any role in the fish incident, but claims the signs likely were removed by property owners.
“From what I've heard, he didn't get permission to put those signs where he did from the property owners,” she said. “He just doesn't understand all that goes along with campaigning ... all the rules you have to follow.”