Former Delegate Joe Morrissey has filed a lawsuit in Richmond circuit court for a review of his petitions in his attempt to file as a Democratic candidate for the June primary in Virginia’s 16th Senate district. He has also filed an injunction to block the printing of primary ballots in that race.[read_more] His complaint reads that he wants the printing blocked,
“in order to vindicate the rights of a candidate to appear on a ballot and the rights of citizens to participate in political speech,”
In a statement on Wednesday Morrissey said,
“This getting on the ballot isn’t about me; it’s about a system that the Democratic Party is supporting that consistently disenfranchises thousands of African-American voters and deprives them of their First Amendment rights,”
The 16th Senate district is heavily Democratic comprising Petersburg, Hopewell, part of Richmond, and parts of Chesterfield, Prince George and Dinwiddie counties.
The spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia, Morgan Finkelstein, responded to Morrissey’s allegations,
While he (Morrissey) continues to make new and bizarre allegations via the news media, the Democratic Party of Virginia is confident that we performed our duties related to nominating candidates in the 16th Senate District,”
“We applied consistent, transparent standards throughout the nominating process for all candidates. Morrissey’s effort to cloak his antics by invoking the important cause of voting rights is outrageous and unfounded.”
Last week Morrissey filed 972 petition signatures to run in the 16th district, only 222 were found to be eligible making him short 28 signatures of qualifying to be on the ballot. In his suit he claims the Democrats did this on purpose to keep him off the ballot.
It’s clear that they are trying to keep my name off the ballot,” Morrissey said. “What they did was wrong, and the Democratic Party has made no effort to correct this manifest injustice. But I am going to show the world what they did.”
Morrissey will consider running as an Independent if he is not successful in his lawsuit, just as he did in his last run for Delegate while incarcerated. He won.
UPDATE: On Tuesday substitutive Judge Hughes will hear the Morrissey ballot injunction motion. All judges in the Richmond Circuit Court recused themselves.
More here and here.