Tag Archives: u.s. district

Lawsuit Seeks to Void Mark Clayton Nomination

NASHVILLE – A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court today asks that the election of Mark Clayton as Democratic nominee to the U.S. Senate be voided because of “fraudulent acts” by state Democratic Party officials.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Larry Crim, one of the losing candidates in the Aug. 2 primary, says state Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester and other party officials knew that Clayton was not a “bona fide Democrat” but nonetheless took no steps to keep his name off the ballot, “thereby knowingly misleading” voters.
A spokeswoman for Mike Rowan, Crim’s attorney, says Judge Kevin Sharp is expected to hold a hearing promptly on whether to grant a request for a temporary injunction against certifying unofficial results of the election pending a full hearing on issues raised.
A hearing on the temporary injunction request was scheduled for Thursday.
“It appears to be a frivolous lawsuit,” said Brandon Puttbrese, spokesman for the state Democratic party.. Further comment for now, he said, would be left to party attorneys at Thursday’s hearing.
A draft copy of the lawsuit argues, in essence, that Forrester and other officials favored Park Overall in the Democratic primary wanted Clayton’s name on the ballot – listed first in alphabetical order – to draw votes from Crim, listed second alphabetically, in hopes that Overall would win the primary.
The state Democratic party disavowed Clayton a day after the primary, contending he was associated with “extremist” causes and a member an “anti-gay hate group.” Clayton is vice president of Public Advocate of the United States.
The lawsuit calls for a new Democratic U.S. Senate primary to be held by Sept. 15. State Election Coordinator Mark Goins, in a letter to Crim and his lawyer earlier, said there’s no provision for a new election in state law and that holding one would be virtually impossible because of other time deadlines built into state law.
Candidate Gary Davis finished second in the Aug. 2 unofficial results. Overall finished third in the voting and Crim fourth in the seven-candidate field.

Note: A draft copy of the lawsuit is available by clicking on this link:
CrimSenatePetition.pdf