Lawsuit filed to keep congressional candidate Tara Sweeney in special election

6/24/2022 5:15:00 AM
Lawsuit filed to keep congressional candidate Tara Sweeney in special election

Three Alaska voters have filed a lawsuit against the Division of Elections, but the first judge to hear it said he’s inclined to rule against them.

2022 Alaska Special Election, Alaska Division Of Elections

The Division of Elections said it could remove Al Gross from the ballot but concluded Sweeney couldn’t advance because state law says a replacement can’t be added within 64 days of the general election. A lawsuit is challenging that decision.

Three Alaska voters have filed a lawsuit against the Division of Elections, but the first judge to hear it said he’s inclined to rule against them.

Tara Sweeney (Photo by Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)Three Alaska voters have filed a lawsuit against the Division of Elections to get Republican candidate Tara Sweeney on the special election ballot for U.S. House, but the first judge to hear it said he’s inclined to rule against them.

Sweeney finished fifth in the special primary. That would seem to put her out of the running, because only the top four candidates advance to the general ballot. But Monday the third-place finisher, Al Gross, quit the race.The Division of Elections said it could remove Gross from the ballot but concluded Sweeney couldn’t advance because state law says a replacement can’t be added within 64 days of the general election.

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Lawsuit says Tara Sweeney should advance in Alaska’s US House special election

Lawsuit says Tara Sweeney should advance in Alaska’s US House special electionA lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of three voters challenges a state election agency’s decision that the fifth-place finisher in the special U.S. House primary, Tara Sweeney , could not replace a candidate who abruptly dropped out. Good! She should automatically be moved into 4 spot on ballet. In a hearing today, a Superior Court judge said he was tentatively inclined to agree with the state elections office that Sweeney cannot replace Al Gross in the upcoming special election for U.S. House after Gross dropped out. As reported by Becky Bohrer beckybohrerap (whose profile indicates that she is AP's political and statehouse reporter in Juneau, Alaska).

Tara Sweeney does not plan to sue over decision that she can't fill vacancy on US House ballot - Alaska Public Media“We made the decision that this is not a candidate fight,” Sweeney campaign manager Karina Waller said in an interview.

Tara Sweeney rejects lawsuit over decision to leave her off Alaska House ballotRepublican Tara Sweeney ’s campaign does not plan to sue over a finding by Alaska elections officials that she cannot advance to the special election for U.S. House following the withdrawal of Al Gross, Sweeney’s campaign manager said Wednesday.

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As last ballots arrive in Alaska’s special US House primary, Peltola inches upwardMary Peltola is up three percentage points in the special U.S. House primary since the counting started, suggesting that her campaign may have picked up momentum as the postmark deadline neared.

Share: Tara Sweeney (Photo by Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media) Three Alaska voters have filed a lawsuit against the Division of Elections to get Republican candidate Tara Sweeney on the special election ballot for U.43 minutes ago Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.“This is on the ranked choice voting procedures that the voters approved, and … this is not our fight.1 hour ago Tara Sweeney, a Republican who sought the sole U.

S. House, but the first judge to hear it said he’s inclined to rule against them. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage. Sweeney finished fifth in the special primary. Gross, an orthopedic surgeon, was positioned to advance to the August special election as one of the top four vote-getters under a new open primary system. That would seem to put her out of the running, because only the top four candidates advance to the general ballot.S. But Monday the third-place finisher, Al Gross, quit the race. House following the withdrawal of Al Gross , Sweeney’s campaign manager said Wednesday.

The Division of Elections said it could remove Gross from the ballot but concluded Sweeney couldn’t advance because state law says a replacement can’t be added within 64 days of the general election. The lawsuit says the Division of Elections misinterpreted state law. State elections officials aim to certify the results by Saturday. The lawsuit challenges that decision. The plaintiffs are Sunny Guerin, Vera Lincoln and Elizabeth Toovak. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of registered voters Sunny Guerin of Anchorage, Vera Lincoln of Fairbanks and Elizabeth Asisaun Toovak of Utqiagvik. Attorney Holly Wells, from Anchorage firm Birch Horton, said the 64-day limit is for a regular election and can’t be crammed into the compressed timeline of a special. Gail Fenumiai, director of the Division of Elections, cited the timing of Gross’ withdrawal in saying that state law does not permit the fifth-place candidate to advance to the special election. The lawsuit also argues that the voters are expecting to rank four candidates on the ballot and that having only three names to rank would deprive them of the right to vote for a duly nominated candidate. Gross placed third in the June 11 special primary, behind Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich and ahead of Democrat Mary Peltola. this is not our fight.

Superior Court Judge William Morse in Anchorage held a hearing in the case late Thursday afternoon. He said his tentative conclusion favors the Division of Elections but he will issue a ruling Friday. But late Monday, he suddenly announced plans to end his campaign . She outlined the division’s position in a letter to an attorney for Begich’s campaign, which had sought clarification on the process. He also said expects the state Supreme Court will hear the case quickly, maybe over the weekend. An attorney representing the division said there’s nothing improper about observing the 64-day rule. The division has until June 28 to finalize the ballot. Kim Reitmeier, president of ANCSA Regional Association, which represents leaders of regional Alaska Native corporations, released a statement Wednesday on behalf of the third-party group the association set up to support Sweeney’s candidacy. Sweeney finished fifth in the vote count, completed Tuesday.

The names that will definitely be on it are Sarah Palin, Nick Begich III and Mary Peltola. .