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December 28, 2012 03:30 PM

Judge Denies Challenge Of SD Lawmaker's Candidacy

pierre, sd

A South Dakota circuit judge has denied a challenge to the candidacy of a state lawmaker who won re-election in November.

Rapid City businesswoman Stephanie Strong had sought a court order removing Rep. Brian Gosch of Rapid City from the November ballot because he notarized a part of his own nominating petitions.

Assistant Attorney General Rich Williams says Circuit Judge Kathleen Trandahl denied Strong's request Friday during a court hearing held by telephone. Williams says the judge ruled she could not take Gosch's name off the ballot because the general election is over.

The attorney general's office represented Secretary of State Jason Gant, the state's chief election officer, in the lawsuit. Williams says the attorney general's office argued that Strong waited too long to challenge Gosch's candidacy.

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