- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A former U.S. Senate candidate in South Dakota who has been indicted for election law violations after allegedly submitted nominating petitions with the names of dead people, fictitious people and Hollywood celebrities.

Clayton Walker, 33, of Black Hawk, an independent who failed to make the November ballot, is jailed without bond in Pierre while he awaits an Oct. 7 court hearing on felony election fraud charges. He also is slated to appear in court Nov. 6 on three misdemeanor counts of threatening state employees over the telephone in a separate case.

Walker earlier this year submitted 3,429 petition signatures, more than the 3,171 he needed under state law to make the ballot. Secretary of State Jason Gant’s office ruled in May that 1,613 signatures were not valid. Walker was indicated a month later.

Court documents show that the nominating petitions submitted by Walker included the names of actors such as Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, and odd names such as Black Notes and Cherry Drop, the Rapid City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1mAJvJm ).

Walker’s court-appointed attorney did not respond to a request for comment. Walker has said in the past that he believes the complaint that led to the charges was politically motivated.

The complaint was filed by Mary Perpich, head of the Democratic Party in Brookings. She told the newspaper that she reviewed Walker’s petitions as a suspicious citizen, not as a party official.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com


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