Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
In honor of Independence Day, Missoulian is providing unlimited access to all of our content from June 28th-July 4th! Presented by Rockin Rudy's
AP

Lawsuit says Sweeney should advance in Alaska US House race

  • Updated
  • 0

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Thursday said he was tentatively inclined to agree with the state elections office that the fifth-place finisher in a special primary for Alaska’s U.S. House seat cannot replace in the upcoming special election a candidate who abruptly dropped out.

But Superior Court Judge William Morse said he will accept further pleadings before making a final decision. He planned to rule on Friday.

His comments came during a hearing on a lawsuit filed earlier in the day that argued that the Alaska Division of Elections misinterpreted state law. The lawsuit says the fifth-place finisher in the special primary, Republican Tara Sweeney, should be put on the August special election ballot in place of independent Al Gross, who withdrew his candidacy.

The case was filed on behalf of registered voters Sunny Guerin of Anchorage, Vera Lincoln of Fairbanks and Elizabeth Asisaun Toovak of Utqiagvik.

Gross was third in the June 11 special primary, behind Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich and ahead of Democrat Mary Peltola. He was poised to advance to the special election as one of the top four vote-getters under a new open primary system. But late Monday, he suddenly announced plans to end his campaign.

Gail Fenumiai, the division's director, in a letter Tuesday said that because Gross withdrew less than 64 days before the election, state law did not permit the division to put the fifth-place candidate on the special election ballot in his place.

She said Gross withdrew Tuesday and his name would be removed from the special election ballot.

The lawsuit says the timeline cited by Fenumiai does not apply to special elections.

The special primary was the first election under a system approved by Alaska voters that ends party primaries and institutes ranked-choice voting in general elections. The lawsuit wrongly states that the special primary was ranked choice.

Sweeney's campaign said it would not sue over the issue. But Sweeney said she believed she should be moved into fourth place and that voters should have four candidates to choose from.

Fenumiai said the division needs a final decision by the courts by Tuesday to print ballots in time to meet deadlines and to keep the special election on schedule.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0 Comments
You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
0

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The House Jan. 6 committee held a surprise hearing Tuesday delivering alarming new testimony about Donald Trump’s actions that day. Witness Cassidy Hutchinson is a lesser-known former White House aide who had proximity to power as an adviser to the then-president and his chief of staff Mark Meadows. She rebuffed Trump’s team warnings against testifying and provided firsthand knowledge of what she saw and heard in the run-up to the insurrection. She described an angry and defiant Trump who ignored repeated warnings against summoning the mob to the Capitol on Jan. 6 and then refused to intervene to stop the violence as rioters laid siege.

The latest testimony about the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has Donald Trump rebuffing his own security’s warnings about armed protesters in the crowd gathering for a rally near the White House. A former White House aide also tells the House committee investigating the attack that Trump desperately attempted to join his supporters as they marched to the Capitol. In her testimony Tuesday, Cassidy Hutchinson described an angry, defiant president who grabbed at the steering wheel of the presidential SUV when the Secret Service refused to allow him go to the Capitol. Trump has dismissed her as “a total phony.”

Two of Congress’ staunchest conservatives repelled more centrist challengers to lock up Republican nominations on Tuesday. That happened even as the party’s voters chose to turn out a six-term incumbent in Mississippi. Illinois Republican Rep. Mary Miller, who called the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade a “historic victory for white life” during a weekend rally with former President Donald Trump — her spokesperson said she misspoke — defeated fellow GOP incumbent Rodney Davis. Another Trump ally, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, one of Congress’ most polarizing members, easily beat back a challenge from a more mainstream Republican. Mississippi Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo, a six-term incumbent, lost to Sheriff Mike Ezell.

Sen. Susan Collins is being criticized for the Supreme Court ruling allowing states to ban abortion because the moderate Republican voted to confirm two of the justices who were in the majority opinion. Critics attacked the Maine senator on social media, and some called for her resignation. The Maine Democratic Party and others cast some of the blame on Collins because her vote was crucial in confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Collins also voted to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch, who also sided with the majority opinion. Collins says in a statement that the overturning of Roe is a “sudden and radical jolt to the country” that will sow division.

The House Jan. 6 panel says it is calling a surprise hearing on Tuesday to present “recently obtained evidence.” The hearing comes after Congress left Washington for a two-week recess. Lawmakers on the panel investigating the 2021 insurrection said last week that there would be no more hearings until July. The subject of the hearings is so far unclear. A spokesman for the panel declined to comment. Among other investigative evidence, the committee recently obtained new footage of Trump and his inner circle taken both before and after Jan. 6, 2021 from British filmmaker Alex Holder. A lawyer for Holder declined to comment.

Former President Donald Trump plans to attend a rally in Alaska next week for candidates he has endorsed in the state, including Sarah Palin, who is running for the Alaska’s U.S. House seat. A statement from a Trump political action committee says the rally will take place July 9 in Anchorage. It says he will deliver remarks in support of Palin, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Kelly Tshibaka. Tshibaka is running for U.S. Senate against the incumbent, Republican Lisa Murkowski. Trump late last year said Dunleavy had his endorsement but that the nod was subject to Dunleavy not endorsing Murkowski. Murkowski voted to convict Trump at his impeachment trial last year.

The Supreme Court says that a high school football coach who knelt and prayed on the field after games is protected by the Constitution. It's a decision that opponents say will open the door to “much more coercive prayer” in public schools. The court ruled 6-3 for the coach with the court’s conservative justices in the majority and its liberals in dissent. The justices in the majority emphasized that the coach’s prayer happened after the game was over. The liberal justices in the minority said there was evidence that the coach’s prayer at the 50-yard-line had a coercive effect and it let him incorporate his “personal religious beliefs into a school event.”

President Joe Biden says the U.S. is enhancing its military presence in Europe for the long haul to bolster regional security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden outlined the plan during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance's annual leaders' summit in Madrid. Biden says “NATO is strong and united." He says steps taken at the summit will augment its “collective strength.” Biden says the U.S. will establish a permanent headquarters in Poland and send two additional F-35 fighter jet squadrons to the United Kingdom. The U.S. is also sending more air defense and other capabilities to Germany and Italy.

Congressional primary runoffs are rare in Mississippi. But this year, two of the state’s Republican incumbents are fighting to keep their jobs in runoffs against challengers from their own party. Two-term Rep. Michael Guest faces former Navy pilot Michael Cassidy in a runoff Tuesday in central Mississippi's 3rd District, while six-term Rep. Steven Palazzo faces sheriff Mike Ezell in the southern 4th District. Palazzo's runoff comes after he was accused in a congressional ethics report of abusing his office by misspending campaign funds. Guest was forced into a runoff amid criticism of his vote to create an independent commission to investigate the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Supreme Court has ruled for doctors who face criminal charges for overprescribing powerful pain medication, in a case arising from the opioid addiction crisis. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court Monday that prosecutors must prove that doctors knew they were illegally prescribing powerful pain drugs in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The ruling came as the U.S. sees record numbers of drug overdose deaths, many from the highly lethal opioid fentanyl. But the justices did not throw out the convictions of two doctors whose appeal was heard in February. Instead, it ordered federal appeals courts to take a new look at their cases.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alert

Breaking News