By Demis Foster| New Mexico Mercury

Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) and plaintiff Larry King announce that the New Mexico Eleventh Judicial District Judge Louis DePauli ruled yesterday that State Representative Sandra Jeff did not gather enough valid petition signatures to appear on the June 3 primary election ballot.

Plaintiff Larry King said that “the judge did the right thing today. His decision confirms that everyone has to follow the rules.”

We commend Judge DePauli for examining each signature individually over two full days. He left no stone unturned in the search for the truth.

As a Democrat, Rep. Jeff needed to submit 78 valid signatures from Democratic voters in her district, House District 5, for her name to appear on the primary ballot. She submitted 91 signatures. The judge ruled that 23 signatures were invalid.

Holding elected officials accountable for their actions is a cornerstone of our work. We believe that for our air, land, and water – who we elect matters. Today’s ruling provides the district with an opportunity to choose a representative who will fight for the health of their communities.

Monday’s hearing was a result of a Supreme Court ruling on April 16 that required Judge DePauli to hear the merits of the case. Previously, the case had centered on procedural issues. Rep. Jeff’s attorney, Germaine Chappelle of the Gallagher and Kennedy Law Firm in Santa Fe, announced from court that they plan to appeal yesterday’s decision to the Supreme Court.

CVNM and King embarked on the lawsuit to ensure that prospective candidates for the state legislature play by the rules. King was represented by attorneys Sara Berger and Karen Mendenhall from Albuquerque.

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.

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