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Minnesota secretary of state seeks removal of fugitive from ballot

AP reports: Minnesota's secretary of state asked the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday to keep an alleged fugitive off the ballot in a congressional primary.

Attorney General Mike Hatch, on behalf of Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, argued that Jack Shepard is a convicted felon and therefore ineligible to appear on the ballot as a GOP candidate for the 4th District seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum.

The secretary of state certified Shepard to appear on the ballot before she learned that Shepard was a fugitive felon, Hatch wrote. Shepard was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1979 and became a fugitive after failing to comply with the terms of his parole, the attorney general said. ...

The Dakota, Ramsey and Washington county attorneys filed a memo Tuesday elaborating on a petition they filed last week opposing Kiffmeyer's attempt to take Shepard off the ballot. They argued that Kiffmeyer doesn't have the authority to decertify Shepard. They said that would require a court order.

And they argued that the controlling law is the U.S. Constitution, which says the only qualifications required to run for Congress are that an individual must be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for seven years, and be a resident of the state on election day. They said the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that neither Congress nor the states have the power to impose additional qualifications. -- Kiffmeyer asks Supreme Court to keep alleged fugitive off ballot (AP via TwinCities.com)