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SD Judge Removes Himself From Ballot Lawsuit

May 1, 2012, 4:31 PM

PIERRE, SD -

A state judge has removed himself from a lawsuit filed by a Rapid City woman who wants to have her name added to the primary ballot so she can challenge Rep. Kristi Noem for the Republican nomination for South Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House.

Circuit Judge Mark Barnett of Pierre had planned to hold a hearing Tuesday in the lawsuit filed by Stephanie Strong, but the hearing was delayed after he granted her request that he remove himself. A new hearing date will be set after a different judge is assigned.

Strong argues that Secretary of State Jason Gant unfairly rejected some of the signatures on her nominating petition.

Gant says Strong's name cannot be added to the June 5 primary ballot because early voting has already started.

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