A judge disqualified Vinesh Singh Rathore, one of the Republicans running against seven-term Congressman Mike Honda (D-San Jose), after finding irregularities in his nomination petition.
But the Sacramento County Superior Court judge who bumped Rathore off the ballot also cleared Democratic challenger Ro Khanna of any culpability in recruiting candidates to dilute the Republican vote, as claimed in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The lawsuit alleged that Khanna, the race's financial frontrunner and an ex-Obama administration trade representative, enlisted two Republican candidates to split the GOP vote three ways in the June jungle primary. Doing so, the lawsuit argued, diluted the impact Republican challenger Vanila Singh would have on the race.
Alameda County Republic Central Committee member Jeffrey Wald filed the lawsuit that asked Judge Allen Sumner to kick Republicans Joel Vanlandingham and Rathore off the ballot. Sumner only disqualified Rathore, saying he failed to submit enough legitimate nominating signatures. The lawsuit was dismissed the same day it was filed.
Vanlandinham and Rathore entered the race just shy of the filing deadline, joining Singh, a Stanford professor and doctor.
The top two vote-getters in the June primary move on to the November runoff.