The Nevada Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday asking the state to consider delaying the Sept. 13 special election for the vacant 2nd district so that it has sufficient time to consider the case regarding the rules of that election.
The court said in the order it was “concerned that the time constraints presented by this appeal provide significant challenges to this court’s ability to provide a thoughtful and considered review of the important issues and questions of public policy that may be at stake.”
It asked the parties in the case to tell the court by Monday whether an election delay would be acceptable.
According to state law, the election must be held within 180 days of the governor proclaiming a vacancy. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) issued the proclamation on May 9, so the state could delay the election until the first week of November.
There are currently 26 candidates filed to run in the special, including 14 Republicans. Under Secretary of State Ross Miller’s (D) interpretation of the law, multiple candidates could run under one party label.
That is the issue in the court case Nevada State Democratic Party and Ross Miller v. Nevada State Republican Party. Republicans won their challenge of Miller’s interpretation, and the Democrats are now appealing that ruling.
In the Republican-leaning district, the existence of multiple Republicans on the ballot could put the party’s ability to retain the seat in jeopardy. With no primary called for in a special election in the state, the GOP prefers the parties’ central committees be charged with selecting nominees.
The special election was called to fill the seat of Republican Dean Heller, whom Sandoval appointed to fill the remainder of John Ensign’s (R) Senate term.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.