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Legislative candidate sues state, asks for opponent to be disqualified
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Legislative candidate sues state, asks for opponent to be disqualified

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A legislative candidate from Lincoln sued two state officials this week, saying his opponent failed to complete a campaign form required by law and accusing the officials of looking the other way.

Bob Van Valkenburg asked a Lancaster County District Court judge to order Secretary of State John Gale and Frank Daley, executive director of the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission, to rule incumbent District 26 Sen. Matt Hansen ineligible ahead of the November general election.

In his complaint, Van Valkenburg said Hansen failed to properly complete the C-1 "statement of financial interests" form before the March 1 deadline, alleging Hansen filed a form late that was passed off as a new form.

"The likeness of a bogus form properly checked was posted on the NADC Official website," Van Valkenburg said in a news release, but he added the copy dated Feb. 22 did not include Hansen's signature.

Daley said Wednesday the form filed by Hansen covered the 2017 calendar year as part of his responsibilities as a sitting state senator.

"Candidates for Legislature and current members of the Legislature were required to file this statement on or before March 1st," Daley said. "The statement includes all of the information required by the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act and therefore complies with the law."

Van Valkenburg said Hansen failed to correct his form to show he was a "candidate for elective office," and not a sitting officeholder.

Hansen said he correctly filed all of the required forms.

"This is a frivolous lawsuit I hope is solved quickly," he said.

Gale declined to comment on the matter. The Nebraska Attorney General will represent the Secretary of State on the case.

In May's primary election, Hansen won nearly 77 percent of the vote in northeast Lincoln's District 26. Both candidates will appear on the November general election ballot.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.

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