Thursday, May 1, 2003

Fletcher candidacy before high court



The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Supreme Court said Wednesday it will hear an appeal that challenges Ernie Fletcher's spot on the ballot for the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Bob Heleringer, running mate of gubernatorial rival Steve Nunn, claims Fletcher is not a legal candidate because his original slate mate, Hunter Bates, did not meet constitutional residency requirements.

The state's high court granted a motion by Fletcher's attorneys that asked it to take the case, bypassing the intermediate Court of Appeals. The order was signed by Chief Justice Joseph Lambert.

The case could have dragged on for weeks, perhaps beyond the May 20 primary election, had it been heard by the Court of Appeals.

Oral arguments were scheduled for this afternoon in the Supreme Court.

Heleringer appealed after a Franklin County Circuit Court judge ruled that Fletcher is a bona fide candidate and can remain on the ballot.

Fletcher has since picked a new running mate, former federal prosecutor Steve Pence, to replace Bates.




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