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August 28, 2014 07:22 AM

Judge Hearing Arguments In Disputed Candidate Case

Sioux Falls, SD

A federal judge is hearing arguments on whether the South Dakota Libertarian Party's candidate for Public Utilities Commission can appear on the November general election ballot.

Secretary of State Jason Gant last week ruled Ryan Gaddy ineligible to run for the office, saying Gaddy didn't comply with a state law that requires candidates to be members of the party that nominates them.

Gaddy and the Libertarian Party sued in federal court, arguing the law is unconstitutional and that not putting Gaddy on the ballot infringes on his and the party's rights. The state wants the case dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol is hearing arguments Thursday morning in Sioux Falls.

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