SANTA FE (AP) — An Albuquerque man will appear on the general election ballot as the Independent American Party’s U.S. Senate candidate.
District Judge Sarah Singleton ruled Tuesday that Jon Ross Barrie should not have been disqualified as a candidate by the secretary of state’s office for not having enough voter signatures in nominating petitions.
The judge said signatures couldn’t be rejected only because addresses of petition signers didn’t match with those in the state’s voter database. The court said there also must be evidence of “bad faith” or fraud.
Based on the judge’s ruling, the secretary of state acknowledged that Barrie qualified as a candidate.
Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Heather Wilson also are running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Jeff Bingaman. Bob Anderson of Albuquerque is a write-in candidate.
5:17pm 8/22/12 — Fate of Third-Party Candidate for U.S. Senate Still Up in the Air
By Deborah Baker/Journal Staff Writer
It’s still uncertain whether a third-party candidate for U.S. Senate will end up on the general election ballot.
The state Supreme Court today heard an appeal from Jon Ross Barrie of the Independent American Party of New Mexico, who says Secretary of State Dianna Duran has wrongfully kept him off the Nov. 6 ballot.
Duran’s office had determined Barrie wasn’t a member of the party by the required deadline, and that he didn’t have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions.
The high court ruled after a hearing that the party membership deadline didn’t apply in Barrie’s case.
Then the justices ordered the case back to state District Court to resolve the signatures question. But they said that before that happens, the Barrie campaign and the Secretary of State’s Office should try to reach an agreement on the signatures that would eliminate the need for another court hearing.
There’s a deadline looming: Sept. 11 is the day the secretary of state must finalize the ballot.
Already on the ballot are Democrat Martin Heinrich, a member of the U.S. House, and Republican Heather Wilson, a former U.S. House member. There is also a write-in candidate, Bob Anderson.