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Shelly’s Legislative Bid Hits Snag

Shelly’s Legislative Bid Hits Snag
March 29
11:00 2016

Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly’s bid for the New Mexico legislature is facing a challenge.

Ben Shelly

Ben Shelly

Barbara Felipe, of Acoma, has filed a suit in the 11th Judicial District Court in Gallup, N.M., challenging the nominating petitions submitted by Shelly for Democratic primary.

Felipe’s husband, Lloyd – currently a Cibola County Commissioner – is also vying for the District 69 seat.

The District 69 seat was vacated by Rep. Ken Martinez after he was chosen to be Bernalillo County attorney.

According to Felipe’s allegations Shelly needed to submit 76 valid signatures from registered Democratic voters in the district. On March 8 Shelly submitted 12 nominating petitions – containing 179 signatures – to the secretary of state.

After a search of district voter records Felipe has challenged 117 of the signatures submitted by Shelly.

If the challenge is successful it would leave Shelly with 62 signatures – 14 less than the minimum required.

Signatures are considered invalid if the person signing was not registered to vote in the party at least 10 days before signing the petition, did not provide all the information required by the petition, or is not eligible to vote in the district.

Signatures are also invalid if a person signs the petition more than once, signs two petitions for the same office, is not of the same political party of the candidate, or the signature is not that of the person signing the nominating petition.
Barbara Felipe is alleging that some of Shelly’s signers are registered Republicans or do not live in District 69. She also claims that many of the signees cannot be found on district voting rolls.

Felipe wants the signatures thrown out and Shelly’s candidacy ruled void.

In addition to Shelly and Lloyd Felipe, the other candidates for District 69 are Terry Fletcher and Harry Garcia, both of Grants.

The Democratic primary is June 7.

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