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Damon Political Report

Kate Marshall says review of judge who failed to disclose potential conflict in special election court battle likely

Updated Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 | 12:57 p.m.

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Kate Marshall

State treasurer Kate Marshall today said a judicial review is likely of Carson City District Judge James Todd Russell’s failure to disclose his relationship with her Republican rival Mark Amodei when he issued a ruling in how the special election would be conducted.

“Certainly a judicial commission would probably end up looking at that,” Marshall said in an interview taped for To the Point.

Russell, who co-owns a $500 mining claim with Amodei, presided over a lawsuit filed by the Nevada Republican Party that challenged Secretary of State Ross Miller’s decision to open the ballot to all candidates qualified to run for Congress.

Russell ruled in favor of the GOP, deciding the political parties have the right to nominate their own candidates to the ballot. The Nevada Supreme Court upheld Russell’s ruling but for different legal reasons.

Amodei, who was chairman of the party when it filed the lawsuit, was later nominated as the Republican candidate. Russell’s ruling cleared the field of other Republican candidates who could have split the GOP vote, making it easier for the Democrat to compete in the heavily Republican district.

Marshall said it was inappropriate for Russell not to disclose the relationship with Amodei.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Russell did not disclose because he didn’t consider Amodei to be part of the case.

Amodei had declared his candidacy 10 days before the hearing.

UPDATE: In a follow up phone call, Marshall's campaign spokesman James Hallinan said Marshall does not have an official position on whether Russell's potential conflict should be reviewed.

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