- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Republican challenger will be allowed on the ballot, the Wisconsin elections board said Friday, but it removed a Libertarian candidate in a different congressional race.

The state Government Accountability Board ruled in Paul Nehlen’s favor as it considered 10 challenges to candidates getting on the Aug. 9 primary ballot.

Nehlen’s nomination papers were challenged by conservative activist Orville Seymer, who argued that the longshot challenger to Ryan should not be on the ballot in the 1st Congressional District race because he had incorrect home and voting addresses on his declaration of candidacy and nomination papers.

On one form, Nehlen listed his home address as Country Drive, instead of Countryside Drive. And on two forms, he incorrectly said he voted in the city of Delavan, when he actually votes in the town of Delavan.

“This isn’t a case of leaving a field blank, it’s a case of filling it in wrong,” Seymer told the board. “It’s a fatal defect.”

Wisconsin state law does not require candidates like Nehlen for a federal office to even include the address information that was being challenged on the declaration of candidacy papers, Nehlen attorney Tom Grieve argued. Additionally, he said, checking the “city” box instead of “town” box for his mailing address on his nomination papers was not a substantial violation.

The board staff agreed, describing the errors as “minor discrepancies” and saying Nehlen’s paperwork “substantially complies” with requirements under the law. The board voted unanimously to allow Nehlen to be on the ballot without discussion.

However, Libertarian Robert Burke was barred from being on the ballot because he did not submit enough valid signatures to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy in the 7th Congressional District. Burke did not contest the challenges or appear at the hearing.

The board also voted to deny ballot access to two candidates running for the state Assembly for not having enough valid signatures. Those candidates are David Aguayo, an independent, who wanted to run against Democratic state Rep. Chris Taylor, of Madison; and Jade Thomson, a Libertarian from Appleton, who wanted to challenge Democratic Rep. Amanda Stuck.

Two incumbent state senators - Democrat Leon Young, of Milwaukee, and Republican Mary Czaja, of Irma - survived challenges claiming they did not have enough valid signatures. A challenge to a third incumbent, Democratic state Rep. Christine Sinicki, was withdrawn Thursday.

Other candidates whose signatures were challenged but will be allowed on the ballot, were:

- 7th Congressional District Republican candidate Donald Raihala, of Superior, who is challenging Duffy.

- Republican state Assembly candidate Zachary Marshall of Milwaukee, who is taking on Democratic Rep. Daniel Riemer.

- Republican state Senate candidate Eric Wimberger, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay.

- Democrat Jacob Wischmeier, who is taking on Democratic Rep. Lisa Subeck of Madison.


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP and find more of his work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/scott-bauer.

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