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Judge: Print Hubbel's Name On Ballot

MyersHubbel2014[1].jpg
Kealey Bultena
/
SDPB

A federal judge says November’s ballot must include the name of the new independent candidate for lieutenant governor. Independent candidate for governor Mike Myers’ first lieutenant governor withdrew from the race. He picked a second nominee, but the Secretary of State hasn’t formally filed the paperwork because state law doesn’t address the replacement.

District Judge Lawrence Piersol says the fact that South Dakota law doesn’t include an option for a non-party candidate to replace a running mate who withdraws while allowing political party members that advantage is unconstitutional.

Independent candidate for governor Mike Myers’ first lieutenant governor withdrew from the race. The judge says South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant must remove the former lieutenant governor candidate from the ballot. He says Myers’ new pick should appear on the ballot, even though South Dakota law doesn’t acknowledge it. Myers says he’s pleased with the opinion.

"And we thought there was a certain amount of absurdity in the notion that they would continue to insist upon placing Caitlin Collier’s name on the ballot, despite the fact that she’d withdrawn, has no interest," Myers says.

Myers unofficially named Lora Hubbel his replacement after Collier withdrew.

Attorneys for the Secretary of State say Myers shouldn’t be able to unilaterally pick his replacement running mate and argue that political parties have structure in place to nominate new candidates. But Myers’ attorney says independent gubernatorial candidates have to do that from the beginning.

Judge Piersol says voters deserve to have a willing candidate’s name printed on the ballot.

Myers faces incumbent Republican governor Dennis Daugaard and Democrat Susan Wismer in November’s general election.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).