POLITICS
08/23/2012 04:32 pm ET

Mitt Romney Washington State Lawsuit: Judge Rejects Libertarian Suit To Remove Candidate From Ballot

A Washington state judge Thursday rejected a Libertarian Party lawsuit that sought to remove Mitt Romney from the state's general election ballot, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Thomas McPhee of the Thurston County Superior Court found that the Republican Party met the criteria to maintain its major party status, and thus, Romney could remain on the ballot.

In the suit filed last Thursday, the Libertarian Party argued that the GOP lost its major party status in the state due to the fact that the party's 2010 Senate nominee, Dino Rossi, was never formally nominated due to a technicality. Washington state law requires a major party's nominee to garner at least 5 percent of the vote in a statewide race during even years.

But McPhee said that Rossi was eventually selected by Republicans -- in a private meeting -- and that was good enough.

The lawsuit sought to make the state GOP a minor party. The deadline for minor parties to qualify candidates for the Nov. 6 general election in Washington state had already passed, and therefore Romney would not have been able to appear on the ballot.

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