Unaffiliated candidate for the Utah State Legislature sues Lt. Governor over ballot wording

SALT LAKE CITY — A candidate unaffiliated with any political party running for a southern Utah seat in the state legislature has filed a lawsuit, objecting to the wording on the ballot.

Marsha Holland, the unaffiliated candidate in House District 73, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Friday against Lt. Governor Spencer Cox. She argues the language on the ballot blocks unaffiliated candidates from succeeding in an election.

“I have learned that some ballot language required by state law for candidates like me is purposefully confusing at best and, at worst, it’s a premeditated effort by insiders to keep unaffiliated candidates from running and winning,” Holland said in a statement Friday. “Win or lose next week, I have proven that unaffiliated candidates like myself, can run strong, viable races against the political party establishment candidates, even in one of the most Republican state legislative districts in the country.”

In a Facebook post earlier this month, Holland showed how her name appears on the ballot:

Holland is challenging San Juan Co. Commissioner Phil Lyman, a Republican, for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab.

In her statement, Holland said she was not asking the state to re-print the ballots but remind elections officials to be equitable in their treatment of candidates.

“As far as I am concerned, I’m running for re-election in 2020 now,” she said in her statement. “I do not want this to be an issue for me or other candidates in the next election.”