Miller to appeal special election ruling
By SANDRA CHEREB
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller asked the attorney general’s office on Friday to appeal a court ruling over how candidates will be chosen to fill a vacant U.S. House seat.
Miller also postponed the start of candidate filing until a written order by District Judge James Russell is received. Filing was set to begin Monday.
“We are still awaiting the written order and the court, and may have further statements once it is issued,” Miller said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Miller, a Democrat, said the Sept. 13 special election would be an open contest, with the 2nd Congressional District seat going to the person who receives the most votes. The seat became vacant this month when Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed Republican Rep. Dean Heller to the U.S. Senate to replace John Ensign.
A crowded ballot could benefit tea party-backed Sharron Angle, a former state assemblywoman whose strong grass-roots organization helped propel her to the top in last year’s crowded GOP U.S. Senate primary. Angle was then defeated by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
It could also help Democrats win the seat for the first time if enough Republicans joined the fray and voters were split.
The state Republican Party sued, arguing political parties’ central committees should pick their nominee to appear on the ballot.
Russell, the son of former Republican Nevada Gov. Charles Russell, on Thursday sided with the GOP. The case will now go to the Nevada Supreme Court.
Ruling from the bench, Russell gave parties until June 30 to choose their candidate.
Besides Angle, other Republicans who announced their intent to run are state GOP Chairman Mark Amodei, a former state senator; state Sen. Greg Brower; and retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold. The party central committee plans to meet June 18.
Democrats who’ve expressed their interest are state Treasurer Kate Marshall; Jill Derby and Nancy Price, both former university regents. Derby twice lost to Heller.
Price was the Democratic nominee last year and also lost to Heller in the largely rural Republican district.