Judge Tosses Challenge Over Residency For Gop Nominee For Ag

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Republican candidate for attorney general will remain on the ballot after a state judge tossed a court challenge over whether the candidate meets the residency requirement.

The Democratic-backed lawsuit sought to prevent Jeremy Gay from appearing on the November general election ballot. First Judicial District Court Judge T. Glenn Ellington ruled Friday that the lawsuit wasn't timely, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Ballots have already been certified for the Nov. 8 election. Ellington said removing Gay would disenfranchise Republican voters who supported him in the primary, and the GOP wouldn't have time to replace him.

The deadline to remove candidates from the general election ballot was Aug. 30, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

The lawsuit alleged Gay fell short of the requirement in the state Constitution to reside in New Mexico for five years prior to the election. Gay moved to Gallup in 2019 and previously was stationed in California with the U.S. Marine Corps, according to the lawsuit.

Attorney Ryan Harrigan, who filed the lawsuit, said Friday he's disappointed in the judge's ruling but was unsure whether he'd appeal it.

Gay, a former judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, faces Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez, a Democrat, in the race for attorney general. The job pays $95,000 annually.

Gay's campaign had criticized the lawsuit as an attack on his military service, which Harrigan disputed.