(Santa Fe, NM) – Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) and plaintiff Larry King announce that the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously upheld the April 21 ruling from Eleventh District Court Judge Louis DePauli that State Representative Sandra Jeff is disqualified from appearing on the June 3 primary election ballot. Today the Supreme Court heard Rep. Jeff’s appeal of DePauli’s ruling.
“We prevailed in ensuring that everyone followed the rules,” King said. “It is unfortunate that Rep. Jeff, after being in office for five years, waited until now to advocate for Navajo voting rights as a way to defend herself in this case.”
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.
“Our thanks go to Larry King for his dedication to protecting this process for his community,” says Demis Foster, CVNM Executive Director. “We supported this case because we believe in holding elected officials accountable for their actions. Rep. Jeff has failed to demonstrate a concern for her constituents’ access to clean air and water.”
Rep. Jeff’s attorney, Germaine Chappelle of the Gallagher and Kennedy Law Firm in Santa Fe, appealed Judge DePauli’s ruling in an attempt to remain on the ballot.
On April 16, the New Mexico Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Eleventh Judicial District Court to be heard on the merits. The plaintiff filed an appeal with the Supreme Court when District Court Judge Louis DePauli dismissed the case after allowing a voter to intervene on Rep. Jeff’s behalf.
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.
Contact: Liliana Castillo, 505-992-8683 or Liliana@CVNM.org