A District Court judge has ruled that Gary Smith is ineligible for the Republican primary ballot in New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. The judge ruled that Smith did not have enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot.
Smith has the opportunity to appeal, but if he is kept off the ballot, that will leave former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones as the only Republican candidate on the ballot.
NM Telegram reported last week on the case.
The complaint alleged that 492 of the 1,823 signatures that Smith collected were invalid. Smith needed 1,579 signatures to qualify for the ballot.
State District Judge Shannon Bacon today ruled 473 of the 1823 petitions Smith submitted were invalid, meaning Smith fell short of the required 1579 petitions.
The petitions were invalid because signers either were duplicates from other petitions or registered, registered in another district or not registered as Republicans.
Smith needed to collect so many signatures because he failed to make the ballot out of the Republican pre-primary convention. At the convention, Arnold-Jones received more than 60 percent of the vote and Smith failed to make even 5 percent of the vote. Candidates needed at least 20 percent of the vote to qualify for the ballot.
Arnold-Jones was not aided in fundraising in the first quarter of 2012 despite her main opponent, Dan Lewis, dropping out of the race. Arnold-Jones reported raising just $55,000.