High Court reverses lower ruling allowing Hickingbottom to appear on Democratic ballot

Bob Hickingbottom's name was placed on the ballot by the Hinds County Circuit Court. The...
Bob Hickingbottom's name was placed on the ballot by the Hinds County Circuit Court. The Mississippi Supreme Court just reversed that decision.(WLBT)
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 4:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for governor is again off the ballot, following a decision by the state’s high court.

On Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision saying Bob Hickingbottom could be placed on the ballot, saying his petition for judicial review was not filed in a timely manner.

Justices dismissed the case with prejudice and said no motions for a rehearing would be allowed, citing the impending deadline for the August 8, 2023 primary ballots.

The ruling leaves just one candidate on the Democratic ballot, Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

It comes days after a Hinds County Circuit Court judge ruled Hickingbottom, a former Constitution Party candidate for governor, could be on the ballot.

The Mississippi State Democratic Party appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.

The party had disqualified Hickingbottom, in part, for failing to file a statement of organization and a statement of economic interest as a Constitution Party candidate in 2019.

The circuit court ruled that the challenges to Hickingbottom’s qualifications were not grounds to disqualify him.

The court also ruled that Hickingbottom’s delay in filing a petition for review did not “outweigh his ‘right of ballot access.’”

State statute mandated the appeal be filed within 15 days of the Democratic Party’s decision.

However, the Supreme Court said Hickingbottom did not file his petition until May 3, nearly three months after Democratic executives removed his name from the ballot.

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