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Politics Notebook: Rejected PRC hopeful says NM ballot rules unfair

Former state Rep. Bob Perls was rejected this week by the secretary of state as an independent candidate for the Public Regulation Commission and says he’s going to challenge it.

Perls will ask a state District Court to strike down New Mexico’s “unfair and discriminatory” requirements for independent and minor party candidates to get on the ballot.

The Corrales businessman and former foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State says he turned in about 1,350 voters’ signatures to qualify for the Nov. 8 general election ballot. The requirement for an independent, however, is 3,650.

Perls says that if he were a Democrat (which he was when he served in the House in the ’90s), he would have had to submit about 750 signatures, and if he were a Republican, about 450.

“Since all voters are supposed to have equal access to the ballot box, does this protection extend to candidates who should have equal access to the ballot?” he said in a news release.

Right now, there is only one candidate on the ballot in Albuquerque’s PRC District 1, Democrat Cynthia Hall.

MINOR PARTIES: The secretary of state, following last week’s filing deadline, has qualified a couple of new minor political parties that could nominate presidential candidates for the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation is running Gloria La Riva of San Francisco, who was born and raised in Albuquerque, as its presidential candidate. La Riva has previously been the party’s presidential nominee and has run for governor in California on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket.

Minor parties have until Sept. 13 to submit their nominees to the secretary of state.

Also qualified this week as a minor party was the American Delta Party, which according to Ballot Access News was founded by San Diego businessman Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente as a vehicle for a possible independent presidential bid. De La Fuente ran in some states in the Democratic presidential primaries.

Four other minor parties already were qualified in New Mexico, including the Constitution Party, whose presidential nominee, Darrell Castle, is on the ballot in November. Former Gov. Gary Johnson is expected to be on the ballot for the Libertarian Party.

LEGISLATURE: On the legislative side, Fran Gallegos was disqualified as a Green Party candidate in Senate District 39, where Republican incumbent Ted Barela faces Democratic challenger Liz Stefanics. The secretary of state said she hadn’t been properly nominated by the party. In House District 54, independent Freddie Joe Nichols is newly on the ballot, challenging Republican incumbent James Townsend.

Deborah Baker: