A judge in Nevada ruled on Thursday that the state parties will decide the candidates for the special election, overruling the interpretation of the rules announced by the state’s secretary of state.
The rules governing a special election in Nevada are conflicting. Secretary of State Ross Miller interpreted them to mean that the election should be what has been called a ‘free-for-all,’ in which any candidate who files a petition with the Secretary of State and has that petition approved is eligible to run on the party line of their choice.
Miller’s interpretation was seen to benefit Democrats by ensuring a split Republican field. Sharron Angle has announced her intention to run in the race, and a reprise of the last GOP primary for Senate was expected, splitting the vote, and helping a Democrat win in a district that leans Republican.
The Nevada Republican Party filed an injunction saying that there should be no more than one candidate from each party on the ballot.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling today and believe that the true winners are the constituents of Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District,” said the Nevada GOP in a statement. “Our position is and has always been consistent with election law and tradition in Nevada; today’s ruling reaffirmed our position. We look forward in moving forward with the Central Committee’s nomination and with the general election this Fall. The Nevada Republican Party remains confident that Republicans will retain this important Congressional seat.”
According to the Las Vegas Sun, Democrats are expected to challenge the decision in the Nevada Supreme Court.
The election date is set for September 13 of this year.