Candidate eligibility lawsuit tossed on procedural grounds

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Friday dismissed as “procedurally flawed” a lawsuit challenging the eligibility of an Alaska legislative candidate to hold the seat.

The lawsuit filed late last month alleges Democrat Jennifer “Jennie” Armstrong did not meet residency requirements on the date she filed to run for an Anchorage House seat. Armstrong was leading Republican Liz Vazquez in the Nov. 8 race.

Superior Court Judge Herman Walker Jr. cited state law and regulations that say a challenge to a candidate’s eligibility can be made by the 10th day after the filing deadline or once the election results have been certified.

The filing deadline was in June. State elections officials have targeted Nov. 29 to certify the results of the general election.

The case was brought by Chris Duke, Randy Eledge, Steve Strait and Kathryn Werdahl, who were described in the complaint as “public interest litigants.” The lawsuit named the state Division of Elections and its director as defendants.

An attorney for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

State law allows a defeated candidate or 10 qualified voters to challenge an election win on specific grounds, including “when the person certified as elected or nominated is not qualified as required by law.”

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