N.M. AG says candidates can't be dropped from ballot

Jessica M. Karmasek Mar. 26, 2012, 12:40pm



SANTA FE, N.M. (Legal Newsline) - New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he sees no legal reason why a group of candidates should be dropped from the state's primary election ballot.

According to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of a memo from King to Secretary of State Dianna Duran, the attorney general pointed to past rulings.

Those rulings suggest, King told Duran, that a state court wouldn't drop the 12 candidates, despite them leaving out some information from their filing papers.

Duran had sent a letter, questioning whether she should declare the candidates filings' invalid, to King's office Thursday.

The question was raised by state Rep. Thomas Garcia, a Democrat who filed to run against Sen. Pete Campos, a Democrat from Las Vegas, the AP reported.

The candidates, including Senate President Tim Jennings, a Democrat from Roswell, did not list on their nominating petitions the district in which they are seeking to run.

A change to state law now requires that the petitions include district designation, among other things.

The petitions and their signatures are deemed invalid if any of the required information is not listed "before the petition is signed by a voter," according to the AP.

Jennings told the AP he did not know about the law change, and argued that the petition wasn't properly updated.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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