In a tight race against the incumbent Democractic governor, Rossi’s description as a member of a “nonexistent party” will foster “public confusion,” says the suit.
Incumbent Gov. Christine Gregoire defeated Rossin by 129 votes in 2004, after two recounts
Plaintiff Jeff Smith, a Washington voter, says Rossi always has identified himself as a Republican, declared himself a candidate for the Republican Party, and was nominated by the Republicans. He adds that the Secretary of State, Sam Reed, is allowing the deception and will require a court order to change the designation.
A state poll shows that changing Rossi’s designation does have a small, favorable influence on the voters.
“Allowing Rossi to obscure his true party preference and affiliation directly violates the law, would mislead a substantial portion of the voting public and would breed cynicism and mistrust in our public institutions and, indeed, in our electoral process,” the complaint states.
“This lawsuit seeks an order declaring that such a ‘party preference’ is improper under Washington law and directing defendant Reed to prepare and to distribute an amended certified list of gubernatorial candidates that, in accordance with the law, accurately identifies Rossi’s part preference as the Washington State Republican Party.”
Smith is represented by Kevin Hamilton with Perkins Coie.
Secretary of State Reed is a Republican.
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