Ashjian stays on the ballot |

Ashjian stays on the ballot

Scott Ashjian will remain on the November ballot as a Tea Party candidate for U.S. Senate.

That ruling was issued Thursday by Carson District Judge Todd Russell, the day after a hearing in which Independent American Party lawyer Joel Hansen argued he should be barred from the ballot. He argued Ashjian violated the law because he was a registered Republican when he filed as a Tea Party candidate.

The challenge was filed by Tim Fasano, the IAP candidate for U.S. Senate.

Ashjian filed his candidacy shortly before noon March 2 in Carson City but didn’t change his party registration until just before 4 p.m. when he arrived back in Las Vegas.

Hansen argued that violated state law and said Ashjian must be removed from the ballot.

Russell, however, disagreed.

“Although it is unfortunate that the defendant Ashjian’s course of conduct in the filing of the documents in issue created the issue before the court, this court does not believe that he engaged in a knowing and willful attempt to avoid the election laws of the state of Nevada,” he wrote.

He ruled that, as Ashjian’s lawyer Allen Lichtenstein argued, the candidate “substantially complied” with the law.

“At the end of the day on March 2, 2010, he was in compliance with the election laws of the state. A technical sequential filing of documents should not control, but an overall good faith attempt to comply should control.”

Russell also noted that the Secretary of State’s office testified it “reviews matters at the end of the day to determine compliance and that (the statute) only requires that a declaration of candidacy be filed during regular office hours on a given day.”

The ruling, unless appealed and reversed by the Nevada Supreme Court, means there will be eight candidates on the general election ballot: One Democrat, one Republican, an IAP candidate, four independents and Ashjian as the Tea Party candidate.


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