Court: GOP Candidate Lacks 'Legal Right' To Include Nickname On Ballot

Feb 18, 2019

A Republican candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State who wants his nickname – “Trump” – on the ballot can be blocked from including it. 

Credit AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

The Franklin Circuit Court has ruled that Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, acted within her authority when she prevented Carl “Trump” Nett from including the presidential tribute in his name on the Republican primary ballot.

Nicknames are allowed under state law, but the candidate must submit an affidavit under oath confirming the authenticity of the nickname and that it’s not being used to game the system.

Grimes cited a lack of Nett’s nickname on his campaign website or online profiles. Nett argued he does use the name on social media. In his decision, Judge Thomas Wingate said the petitioner lacked a “legal right to use the politically advantageous nickname, and the Secretary of State did not act arbitrarily in removing the alleged nickname from the ballot." 

Nett is up against Andrew English, Michael Adams, and Stephen Knipper in the GOP contest set for May 21.