MN GOP Attempt To Put “Doc”-tored Name On Ballot Fails

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Minnesota’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Minnesota Republican candidate for Secretary of State Dan Severson can’t use a nickname on the ballot that might confuse voters with former Tonight Show band leader “Doc” Severson.

Judge Lorie Gildea made the ruling and promised an opinion explaining the reasoning would follow.  Severson has filed for office before, but did so using his given name of Dan Severson and not Dan “Doc” Severson.  To see judge Gildea’s order continue reading.

Carol Weiler,Petitioner,


vs. Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State,

Respondent, Dan “Doc” Severson,

Intervenor-Respondent. OR DE R

On May 25, 2010, Daniel Mark Severson filed an affidavit of candidacy for the office of Minnesota Secretary of State, indicating that his name should be placed on the 2010 general election ballot as “Dan ‘Doc’ Severson.” On June 29, 2010, petitioner Carol Weiler filed a petition with our court pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 204B.44 (2008), requesting an order directing the Secretary of State to omit “Doc” from Severson’s name on the ballot. Severson intervened in the case and filed a response in opposition to the petition. The Secretary of State filed a response1 to the petition but took no position on its merits. Petitioner Weiler filed a memorandum in reply and the court heard oral argument on August 11, 2010.

1The response stated that because he is also a candidate for Secretary of State, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie recused himself from participation in the case and delegated responsibility for coordinating the response to the Deputy Secretary of State.

Based upon all the files, records and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT: 1. The petition of Carol Weiler be, and the same is, granted to the extent that

it seeks an order directing the Secretary of State to omit “Doc” from the name of intervenor-respondent Severson as a candidate for Minnesota Secretary of State on the 2010 general election ballot, and the Secretary of State is so directed.

2. So as not to impair the orderly election process, this order is issued with opinion to follow.

Dated: August 16, 2010




Lorie S. Gildea Chief Justice

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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