Special election court hearing set

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court on June 28 will hear oral arguments on whether the special election to fill Dean Heller’s seat in Congress will be a free-for-all or be limited to candidates chosen by party central committees.

The court announced Wednesday that it has scheduled an hourlong hearing in the case of the Nevada Republican Party vs. the Nevada Democratic Party. Each side will have 30 minutes to make its case.

Thirty people already have signed up for the tentative Sept. 13 election for the 2nd Congressional District.

They include Republican veterans such as Mark Amodei and Greg Brower and unknowns such as Robert X. Leeds and Busch Voights Jr.

After the appointment of then-Rep. Heller, R-Nev., to replace John Ensign in the U.S. Senate, Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller determined that anyone could run to fill the vacant seat. He called for a “ballot royale.”

But Republican lawyers cried foul, contending that under election law, the Republican and Democratic party central committees should choose just one candidate each for the ballot.

District Judge James Todd Russell agreed, throwing out Miller’s plan. But Miller appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

Typically the Supreme Court takes months to render decisions, and Miller’s plan for a Sept. 13 election could be moved back to later in the fall.

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