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Ballot won't identify Gilchrist as Minuteman Project founder
State's top election official rules label must refer to a job.

The Orange County Register

WASHINGTON – California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson has ruled that Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist cannot have his leadership of that group under his name on the 48th Congressional District special-election primary ballot.

The state's chief election officer also found that Republican Ed Suppe cannot list "veteran" under his name.

In both cases, the secretary determined that those ballot designations violated the election code, which says the candidate label must be a "principal profession, vocation or occupation."

The primary, to fill former Rep. Christopher Cox's seat, is Oct. 4.

McPherson ruled that "Minuteman Project founder" constituted "a commercial identification" and that Suppe's veteran label was a "status," according to letters sent this week to the two candidates.

Gilchrist, who is running on the American Independent Party line, said he is concerned that without Minuteman under his name, people who want to vote for him will not make the connection between him and his anti-illegal-immigration group.

"A lot of people tap me on the shoulder and say, aren't you that Minuteman guy?" said Gilchrist, a retired CPA.

Gilchrist has not decided what he will put under his name. He has until Monday. Suppe, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, said he will leave his designation blank.

"This is all being done to protect politicians who are scared to death to have a veteran on the ballot," said Suppe, who had also listed "international businessman" on his ballot designation.

The labels were made public by the county Registrar of Voters but still needed McPherson's approval.

McPherson's spokeswoman said the office did get a complaint about the labels but that the staff routinely checks the designations.

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