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Candidate Asks Judge To Let Her Run While Lawsuit Is Pending

Candidate Asks Judge To Let Her Run While Lawsuit Is Pending

Temporary Restraining Order Would Allow Ex-Mayoral Candidate To Run

Former Albuquerque mayoral candidate Stella Padilla Tuesday asked a district judge to allow her to run as an official candidate until her lawsuit against the city clerk over the candidate’s removal from the ballot is finished.

Padilla’s lawyer, Blair Dunn, filed a temporary restraining order in district court that, if granted, would allow Padilla to run as a candidate.

In his request, Dunn wrote that allowing Padilla to run as an official candidate would not harm the city. But, Blair wrote, Padilla would suffer irreparable harm if she is not allowed to run her campaign until after the court case is completed.

“There is no monetary remedy that could be established to replace or compensate [Padilla] for the type of opportunity she will be deprived of seeking to participate in during the pendency of this lawsuit,” Dunn wrote.

The effort is the latest in a lawsuit filed by Padilla earlier this month against Albuquerque City Clerk Natalie Howard, claiming Howard’s office incorrectly disqualified Padilla from the mayoral ballot.

In order to qualify for the October ballot, all candidates were required to collect 3,000 valid petition signatures from registered Albuquerque voters. According to Howard’s office Padilla came up short by about 170 signatures.

But, the lawsuit says, some of the signatures that were deemed unqualified by the clerk’s office were actually valid upon a second review by Padilla’s campaign. Further, the lawsuit states, there is little to no oversight regarding how the clerk’s office verifies signatures.

“It is at best a hit and miss and arbitrary process left to the competency and potential individual discretion/bias of the person reviewing each page at the City Clerk’s office,”  the lawsuit states.

The City of Albuquerque attorney’s have not yet filed a response to the request for a temporary restraining order.

Eight candidates are currently certified on the ballot for mayor after former Bernalillo County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta dropped out of the race last week.

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  • Ward Shrake
    May 31, 2017, 8:50 am

    Any chance of posting the lawsuit’s papers, or a link to them, for we curious few?

    • Arthur Tannenbaum@Ward Shrake
      May 31, 2017, 10:30 am

      Stella Padilla has made waves and is making a splash, rocking the boat, as she is now bringing to light the latest in a string of voting irregularities, involving the Office of the Albuquerque City Clerk, throughout the past 5 – 10 years and its flawed processes & its lack of meaningful oversight. In this current wave of strong populist sentiment we are experiencing Padilla’s lawsuit underway against the City Clerk (Natalie Howard) cuts to the core of the people’s frustration and exasperation with the political establishment, the structure of our institutions along with the institutions’ corruption and/or ineptitude, as well as questioning the primary process in the capability of a broad field of candidates having the capability to fairly compete. How people end up often depends to great extent on how they started off. Ms. Padilla said she is not just doing this for herself but for anyone who will run for Office in the city of Albuquerque, in the future and, for the protection of the voters. Stella is to be commended for not only running a truly grassroots mayoral campaign but also for her tenacity in fighting for justice and working to improve the political system & bettering people’s lives in the city.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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