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September 23, 2008 4:02 PM

Democrats sue over Rossi's "GOP Party" identification

Posted by Richard Wagoner

The state Democratic Party filed suit today, asking that Secretary of State Sam Reed list Dino Rossi's party preference as "Republican Party" on the general election ballot. When Rossi filed for office, he listed his party preference as "GOP Party."

Rossi has said he's always used the term GOP to identify his party and isn't trying to confuse voters about his party affiliation.

But the Democrats, who argue the Republican Party has become a damaged brand, say that's exactly what Rossi is doing. The lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court says,

Allowing Mr. 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. This Court has the power and the duty to correct such threatened errors in the preparation and printing of the ballot and should exercise that power to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

Rossi is facing a rematch with Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire, who beat him by 133 votes four years ago after three counts and a court challenge.

Washington's new "top-two" primary system allows candidates to pick how they want to be identified on the ballot.

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