Update: The plaintiffs have appealed the ruling to the Alaska Supreme Court.
An Anchorage Superior Court judge on Friday ruled against an attempt by a group associated with the Sweeney for Congress campaign their quest to add Sweeney’s name to the special general election ballot.
Sweeney finished in fifth place in the special primary election for U.S. House. But then the third-place finisher, Al Gross, suddenly dropped out of contention on Monday, leaving just three names on the special general election ballot for Aug. 16: Sarah Palin, Nick Begich, and fourth-place finisher Mary Peltola.
Superior Court Judge William Morse sided with the Division of Elections, whose director said that nowhere in law does it allow a fifth-place finisher to move onto the ballot, just because someone who made the ballot has requested he or she be removed from the ballot. The decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court, but the Division of Elections is on a strict schedule to get the election certified and to get the ballots for the Aug. 16 ballot printed by the time the law requires.
Meanwhile, Gross had thrown his support to both Sweeney and Peltola, both Alaska Natives.
Sweeney is still technically on the regular primary ballot for the U.S. House, along with 29 other people who are still on the ballot, including Palin, Begich and Peltola. The deadline to withdraw from the regular primary is Saturday.
But as of now, just three are in the special election to fill out the remaining term of the late Congressman Don Young.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.