Libertarian Party Elects Arizona Superior Court Judge, 20 Other Candidates

Maricopa Superior Court Judge John Buttrick won approval for retention of his seat with 73% of the vote.

Buttrick is a well-known Libertarian Party activist who was appointed to the bench in 2001. This was his first election after his appointment. He had been challenged by several lawyers coming before his as “biased” for his libertarian beliefs. These challenges went all the way to the state Supreme Court but were all defeated.

Butrick ran as the LP candidate for Governor in 1994 and for the state legislature in 1998.

Also, the LP elected at least 20 candidates for a city councils and other offices around the country.

124 Judges Disqualified From Hearing Challenge to San Diego Mayoral Write-In Win

In the latest twist in San Diego’s mayoral race, the entire bench of the San Diego Superior Court removed itself Wednesday from hearing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the election. The case was then assigned to a retired judge from Imperial County who will hold a hearing Monday in the downtown San Diego courthouse.

As vote counts continue to indicate that write-in candidate Donna Frye defeated the incumbent mayor, suits continue to be filed to challenge the legality of the win.

The plaintiffs, who allege violations of the Constitution’s First and 14th amendments, contend Frye’s write-in candidacy is invalid because the City Charter does not allow write-in candidates to run in a general election. They also contend (although this hardly seems like a legal issue) that write-ins illegally siphon off votes from the two ballot candidates. The city charter says that the voters are to choose between the top two candidates nominated at the primary election. There is no provision in the city charter for write-ins, although state law directs that all elections be open to write-in candidates, and even the city’s municipal code explicitly allows write-ins in both primary and general elections. The first suit filed, by local lawyer John Howard, asks the court to direct that the election be held over again.

The judges disqualified themselves because the incumbent mayor had served as a judge for 15 years and was known to the entire court.

Ironically, voters also approved Proposition F, a measure backed by the incumbent, to give the mayor a significant increase in power over the city government.

Third-Party Presidential Candidates Demand Ohio Recount

The Green Party’s David Cobb and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik jointly announced their intentions to file a formal demand for a statewide recount in Ohio today. The two defeated third-party candidates also called upon Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who chaired President Bush’s campaign in the Buckeye State, to recuse himself from the recount process. Cobb and Badnarik hope to raise $110,000 to pay for the recall. Earlier today, Ralph Nader, who was forced to wage a write-in campaign in Ohio after his name was stricken from the ballot, also called for a statewide recount in the presidential race. The longtime consumer activist, who is also demanding a recount in New Hampshire, also blasted the Ohio Secretary of State, saying he should resign in disgrace. “When people are standing in line for four or five hours and they are told they’ve got to stand in line for another five hours and they leave because they’ve got to go to work or they got to pick up their child at day care, that’s a constitutional crime,” Nader asserted. Unofficial results in Ohio show Bush leading Democrat John F. Kerry by more than 136,000 votes with more than 155,000 provisional ballots and an undetermined number of absentee ballots yet to be counted.

(from Darcy Richardson)

Constitution Party Maintains Montana Win After Provisional Ballots Counted, Recount Expected

After the counting of provisional ballots Constitution Party candidate Rick Jore has been declared the winner for Montana House of Representatives with a two-vote margin in a three-way race. The losing candidate may still demand a recount, but must wait until the official canvass is completed on Nov. 22, and within five days after that date. The candidate’s representative has indicated she will demand a recount.

All eyes are on the race, since the outcome will determine control of the state legislature. The state house is now split. If Jore wins, Republicans will control the House. If Jore loses, the House would have a 50-50 split and the newly-elected Democratic Governor would name a House Speaker.

This is the first legislative win ever for the Constitution Party nationwide. He is also the first third party legislator in Montana since 1929. Jore is a former Republican legislator.

Calif. Green Party Takes Control of 2 City Councils

The Green Party of California elected at least 15 candidates to local office and now control two city councils. All such local offices in California are elected as non-partisan.

The Greens elected two to the Arcata (Humboldt County) City Council, gaining a majority. The party retained control of the Sebastopol (Sonoma County) City Council by winning two open spots.

In San Francisco, longtime Green campaign consultant Ross Mirkarimi won the District 5 race for County Supervisor, a seat vacated by popular Green Matt Gonzalez, who chose not to seek re-election.

Montana Constitution Party Legislative Win Looks at 25 Provisional Votes; Control of State House Depends on Outcome

The determination of 25 provisional ballots will likely decide the fate of Montana Constitution Party legislative candidate Rick Jore. The count of regular ballots put Jore in the lead by one single vote. After these provisional ballots are ruled on and counted, it is likely a full recount will occur.

The leaderhip of Montana’s House of Representatives hangs in the balance. If Jore loses, the House would be have a 50-50 split and the newly-elected Democratic Governor would name a House Speaker. If Jore wins, Republicans will control the House.

In an unusual case where a single challenged provisional ballot received publicity, election judges challenged the vote by a mentally-handicapped man whose ballot was signed by a shelter case manager since he was uable to sign it himself.

Election officials plan to review provisional ballots over the next few days at which point either candidate could ask for a recount. Given the closeness of the votes, a recount is likely.