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Political notebook: Bid to block Dunn may be invalid

An attempt to bump Aubrey Dunn off the ballot for U.S. Senate might be grounded before it can even take flight.

A lawsuit filed in District Court in Santa Fe claims that Dunn, who is the state land commissioner, failed to turn in enough valid voter signatures to qualify for the June 5 primary election ballot.

However, the lawsuit was filed Feb. 20 – four days after the deadline for challenging a candidate’s signatures.

Aubrey Dunn

Dunn was elected land commissioner in 2014 as a Republican but recently changed his party affiliation and is running for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian. He said Monday that he was unaware of the court challenge and expressed confidence that he had submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The court challenge was filed by Steve Gendorn, a Bernalillo County resident. It asks a judge to disqualify Dunn for not listing his physical address on the voter signature forms – he listed his mailing address instead.

In addition, the lawsuit claims many of the voter signatures submitted by Dunn should be disallowed because they don’t belong to registered Libertarian voters.

The other major party candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat are incumbent Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, and Mick Rich, a Republican.

HOLLOMAN BID: Lt. Gov. John Sanchez recently led a delegation to the nation’s capital aimed at securing a fighter aircraft mission at New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force Base.

Several Alamogordo civic leaders and Holloman Air Force Base officials joined Sanchez on the trip to the Pentagon, where they touted two bills passed in the just-completed 30-day legislative session.

One of those measures, Senate Bill 99, would specifically grant a tax deduction for construction related to housing a fighter aircraft training mission project at Holloman Air Force Base, just outside Alamogordo.

Landing the F-16 training mission could mean up to 100 additional airplanes being sent to the base and the creation of as many as 1,000 new jobs in the area, according to a fiscal analysis of the bill.

New Mexico could have one thing working in its favor as it tries to secure the mission – former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., who represented the Albuquerque area, is the current secretary of the Air Force.

Dan Boyd: