An Indian-American Republican candidate has been disqualified from contesting Congressional election by a California court, even as it cleared another candidate from the community to contest the polls.
The candidature of Vinesh Singh Rathore was cancelled by Sacramento County Superior Court judge Allen Sumner on Wednesday after he found irregularities in his nominating petition.
The court found that several signatures on Rathore’s petition were in the same handwriting. Without those signatures, Rathore did not meet the 40-signature minimum and thus cannot appear on the ballot, reported San Jose Mercury News.
Rathore, 35, a Google product attorney, however, insisted that all those who signed his nomination papers were legitimate voters.
“Judge Sumner ruled to remove me from the ballot because there were instances where a husband filled out his wife’s name and address on the nomination papers (though both signed on their own behalf),” he said in an e-mail to San Jose Mercury News.
“I would have gladly produced signed affidavits from my signatories supporting my candidacy, but I was literally given a few hours notice to respond to the complaint. So much for due process,” the e-mail stated.
The judge also cancelled a lawsuit against another Indian-American Democratic challenger Ro Khanna.
“There was never evidence to support the ridiculous claim and it was dismissed yesterday by the judge who examined it,” Khanna campaign manager Leah Cowan said.
“It’s obvious that the defenders of the status quo feel threatened by the momentum behind Ro’s change campaign and now they’ve resorted to old-style political attacks and dirty tricks,” he said.
Khanna has been in the race for about a year, but Republican Vanila Singh entered the fight at the start of this year and Rathore and Joel Vanlandingham this month.
Jeffrey Wald of Fremont, an Alameda County Republican Central Committee member, had sued the voter registrars in Alameda and Santa Clara counties as well as the Secretary of State’s Office, arguing that Rathore and Vanlandingham should be kicked off the ballot.
“Khanna recruited candidates to enter the race as Republicans to split the Republican vote three ways, effectively diluting votes that would otherwise be cast in favor of (Vanila) Singh,” the suit claimed.
The race in the 17th congressional district has attracted much attention as Khanna, a former Obama administration official who lives in Fremont, challenges seven-term incumbent Mike Honda to represent the first majority Asian-American district in the continental 48 states — and the heart of Silicon Valley.