An independent candidate for governor is challenging the constitutionality of a law which could make it difficult for him to make it on the November ballot.
Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha will challenge in federal court a new law requiring independent candidates gather signatures from 10% of the state’s registered voters to land on the November ballot; a total of approximately 119,000 signatures.
“It simply is another roadblock that the parties would put in place to push back on any independent to have a credible run at any office in this state,” Krist tells reporters during a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda.
Krist, a Republican, is challenging the re-election of Gov. Pete Ricketts. But, he won’t challenge him in the Republican Party primary. Krist plans either to run as an independent or to form a third political party, which would require he gather around 4,000 signatures from registered voters.
The new law passed at the end of the last legislative session.
Attorney Dave Domina, a Democrat, is representing Krist is his constitutional challenge.
Sen. John Murante of Gretna, chair of the legislature’s Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee, expects the law to hold up in court.
“I think the court will take into consideration that the proposal was thoroughly vetted,” Murante tells reporters at the Capitol. “It was discussed at various stages of debate. It was passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.”
Murante reasons independent candidates should be required to gather the signatures roughly equal to what a candidate would have to have to win a political party primary.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]