Judge: Carl Nett can't use 'Trump' nickname on ballot

Published: Feb. 18, 2019 at 3:17 PM EST
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A man looking to win the Republican nomination for Kentucky Secretary of State will not be able to have the nickname "Trump" on the ballot.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled against Carl Nett after the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office claimed the candidate was trying to gain an advantage on the ballot by tying himself to the President, who remains popular in Kentucky, especially among Republicans.

Nett is among four Republicans running for Secretary of State in the 2019 primary, and he claimed he was originally told by someone at the office he is seeking that he could have the "Trump" nickname on the ballot. A fellow GOP candidate objected, and it was removed right before the filing deadline.

The state allows candidates to have a nickname printed on the ballot but only if they submit an affidavit under oath attesting it is his or her real nickname, and they are not using it to gain an advantage.

The court ruled Nett doesn't have a legal right to use the nickname, and his constitutional rights aren't being violated. It also stated in the ruling that Nett has only used the nickname on one of his campaign-related materials.

Nett released a statement Monday evening continuing to claim the nickname removal was "unlawful," but he didn't indicate whether he would appeal.