SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – Republican leaders hoping to block Congressional candidate Debbie Cook from calling herself the mayor of Huntington Beach on the ballot were handed a defeat by a California appeals court.
The 4th District Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Cook, a Democrat, should not be allowed to use the term “mayor” on the ballot because voters had elected her to city council, not the position of mayor.
The lawsuit, filed by California Republican Party treasurer Keith Carlson, names as defendants Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley and Cook.
The appellate court dismissed the claim on the basis that it should have named the secretary of state, who accepts and approves the ballot designation. And if the secretary were added to the suit, the case would belong in Sacramento, the ruling states.
The court also ruled that Republican leader Mike Schroeder, an attorney in the case, could not take Cook’s deposition, and that Cook might be able to recover legal costs from Carlson.
Cook told local reporters that the lawsuit was an attempt to derail her campaign to unseat Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, incumbent for the 46th Congressional District.