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Jose Hernandez, U.S. House Candidate, Can Say He Was An Astronaut, Says Judge

03/30/12 03:53 PM ET AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A congressional candidate in California's Central Valley can note on ballots that he used to be an astronaut.

A Sacramento County judge ruled Thursday that Democrat Jose Hernandez can use the ballot designation "astronaut." Hernandez is challenging freshman Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican from Turlock, for California's 10th District seat.

A Sacramento law firm had argued in a lawsuit that Hernandez's use of the moniker would violate state elections law because Hernandez has left NASA. Hernandez had flown aboard the shuttle Discovery in 2009.

The Sacramento Bee reports ( ) that Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ruled that ballot designations apparently can reflect a profession or vocation held during the previous calendar year. Hernandez spent two weeks at NASA in 2011 before leaving the agency. http://bit.ly/H3yHKG

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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Filed by Cindy Y. Rodriguez  |