Simply put, Carson City District Judge James Todd Russell is flat wrong about the special election for the 2nd Congressional District. Which is why it’s a good thing that Secretary of State Ross Miller announced late Friday he would appeal this wrongheaded ruling to the state Supreme Court.
In the meantime, candidate filings schedule for next week will be postponed while the appeal is prepared.
Some background: After Rep. Dean Heller was appointed to John Ensign’s Senate seat, a special election was called to replace Heller in the House of Representatives. Miller issued regulations for that special election — a first in Nevada history — based on a 2003 statute that appears to allow a wide-open, anybody-can-run, no-primary, winner-takes-all election. The Nevada Republican Party sued, claiming political parties should nominate candidates for the special election.
The only problem? They’re wrong. And so is Russell, who agreed with the GOP on Thursday and issued an injunction stalling the election until the parties can pick their nominees.
Here’s the relevant passage from NRS 304.240(1): “Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a candidate must be nominated in the manner provided in chapter 293 of NRS and must file a declaration or acceptance of candidacy within the time prescribed by the Secretary of State pursuant to NRS 293.204, which must be established to allow a sufficient amount of time for the mailing of election ballots. A candidate of a major political party is nominated by filing a declaration or acceptance of candidacy within the time prescribed by the Secretary of State pursuant to NRS 293.204” (emphasis added).