OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Republican Party announced plans Tuesday to go to court to challenge Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kerrey's voter registration to try to keep him off the primary ballot.
State GOP Chairman Mark Fahleson gave the Associated Press an early copy of the party's plan to file a lawsuit Tuesday.
The party previously filed a complaint with Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale questioning Mr. Kerrey's voter registration. Mr. Kerrey, who has lived in New York since 2001, first listed his sister's Omaha home as his address on Feb. 28. He changed it the next day to the address of an Omaha friend and campaign donor, where he's staying in a guest house.
Mr. Gale determined that Mr. Kerrey would remain on the May 15 primary ballot because the U.S. Constitution requires only that senators be a resident of the state they serve by the time they're elected.
But the Republican secretary of state also said he believed Mr. Kerrey violated a state law that requires candidates to be residents of the county in which they register to vote.
"The facts are clear: In a botched attempt to transform himself from a Greenwich Village New York resident to a Nebraska resident literally overnight, Bob Kerrey provided false information under oath on his signed voter registration and candidate filing application, and failed to meet Nebraska's standard for appearing on the ballot," Mr. Fahleson said in the Republicans' statement.
Mr. Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and 1992 Democratic presidential candidate, is seeking the seat he held for two terms, from 1989 to 2001. The seat is now held by Sen. Ben Nelson, the state's lone congressional Democrat.
Mr. Kerrey has suggested Mr. Gale's written opinion was politically motivated, writing to him that he "wrote the statement for the expressed purpose of giving Karl Rove some language to use in one of his commercials against me."