New Mexico Supreme Court Remands Rep. Jeff Nominating Petitions Challenge Back to District Court

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

(SANTA FE, NM) – Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) and plaintiff Larry King announce that the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled today to remand the Rep. Jeff nominating petition challenge back to the District Court to be heard on the merits. A hearing is scheduled for April 18 at 10 a.m. with Judge Louis DePauli in the New Mexico Eleventh Judicial District Court.

“I’m happy about the ruling that directs the district court to hear the merits of our case,” King said. “As a legislator who has been through this three time before, Rep. Jeff should know the process.”

The Supreme Court also limited Elvira Mitchell’s intervention in the case to her validating her signature on Rep. Jeff’s nominating petition. Mitchell, Rep. Jeff’s campaign manager’s mother, was represented by attorney Pat Rogers from Albuquerque.

“We’re pleased Elvira Mitchell’s intervention will be limited and Rep. Jeff will need to represent herself.” says Demis Foster, CVNM Executive Director. “We’ve wanted the merits of the case to be heard all along.”

The plaintiff filed an appeal with the New Mexico Supreme Court of the dismissal by Judge DePauli. The judge dismissed the case after allowing Mitchell to intervene on Rep. Jeff’s behalf. Rep. Jeff was not present at either the District Court or Supreme Court hearings.

CVNM and King, embarked on the lawsuit to ensure that prospective candidates for the state legislature play by the rules. Rep. Jeff, who represents House District 5, was required to submit 78 valid signatures of Democratic voters in McKinley or San Juan counties to qualify for the primary ballot. The suit challenges 52 of the 91 signatures Rep. Jeff submitted as invalid.

CVNM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization connecting the people of New Mexico to their political power to protect our air, land, and water for a healthy Land of Enchantment. CVNM does this by mobilizing voters, winning elections, holding elected officials accountable, and advancing responsible public policies.

Contact: Liliana Castillo, 575-219-9619 or Liliana@CVNM.org

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