Nebraska Republicans will press their charge that Bob Kerrey should not be on the ballot.
The Nebraska Republican Party has filed a motion asking that the Nebraska Supreme Court directly take up its appeal of a Lancaster County judge ruling, by-passing the normal appeal process.
Lancaster County District Judge Steven Burns on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state Republican Party, seeking to overturned Secretary of State John Gale’s decision to leave Kerrey’s name on the May 15th Democratic primary ballot. Gale ruled that though Kerry had not established residency, his candidacy complied with regulations outlined by the United States Constitution.
Republicans appealed the ruling by the Secretary of State, arguing that Kerrey had not qualified as a legally registered voter when he filed as a candidate February 29th, the day before the deadline.
Burns rejected the argument.
“The state of Nebraska does not have the constitutional authority to impose a voter registration requirement as a qualification for candidacy,” the judge wrote in his ruling. “The state cannot use the failure to fulfill conditions which it cannot impose as a basis for removing a candidate from the ballot.”
Burns issued his ruling after hearing oral arguments in the case.
Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson released a written statement about the party’s appeal:
“The very integrity of Nebraska’s election laws is at stake here. Nebraska’s Secretary of State found that Bob Kerrey did not reside at either of the two Nebraska addresses he listed under oath when he filed for the U.S. Senate. As our Secretary of State noted ‘an oath is an oath,’ and it’s clear that Bob Kerrey violated that oath. While such actions may be commonplace in New York, they clearly violate Nebraska law, and Bob Kerrey should be barred from Nebraska’s ballot as a result.”
The Nebraska Democratic Party called the appeal pointless and accused Republicans of continuing political games.
“GOP leaders just don’t know when to stop playing their theatrical games,” said Paul Johnson, Bob Kerrey Campaign Manager said in a written statement. “When an actor puts on too much makeup, he starts to look like a clown.”
“It is crystal clear why Republican leaders are continuing this exercise,” Johnson stated. “They would rather do anything than face Bob Kerrey in a fair election. But winning on the field is how things are done in in Nebraska.”
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