District Attorney “Spence” Pacheco has filed suit to keep Lloyd Drager off the ballot in the June primary. The First Judicial District has jurisdiction over Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties.
This appeared in Thursday’s Santa Fe New Mexican (local briefs section):
District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco is trying to knock fellow Democrat Lloyd Drager, former chief deputy district attorney, off the June primary election ballot.
Pacheco filed a lawsuit last week in First Judicial District Court, saying that 193 of the 758 signatures Drager gathered on nominating petitions aren’t legitimate and should be disqualified. Drager needs 624 signatures to qualify as a district attorney candidate on the primary election ballot. If Pacheco’s challenge is successful, that would leave him with only 565 signatures and under the threshold for qualification, the suit says.
According to the suit, Pacheco is challenging the largest group of signatures — 131 — because they are listed at an address for which no voter of that name is registered. Pacheco also called into question another 20 signatures Drager gathered, saying that they are so illegible “as to make it impossible to determine” whether the voter is qualified to vote in the First Judicial District, the suit says.
Secretary of State Dianna Duran also is listed as a defendant. Pacheco wants the court to order Duran’s office to remove Drager’s name from the primary election ballot if her challenge is successful.
Drager said in a telephone interview that he feels good about the petitions and signatures he gathered and that Pacheco’s lawsuit raised a couple of questions in his mind.
“Why does Ms. Pacheco not want voters of the district to have a choice?” he said. “I guess the follow-up to that and somewhat similar in nature, is, ‘Is she concerned that she might not win the election?’ “