D.C. attorney general race won’t be on April ballots

It is now beyond any doubt: Primary voters in the District will not see the office of attorney general on their April 1 ballots.

After a D.C. Superior Court judge declined this month to force elections officials to include the office on ballots now being printed, lawyer and would-be candidate Paul Zukerberg asked the D.C. Court of Appeals to revisit the decision.

A three-judge panel reviewed the appeal and ruled in a brief order Tuesday that it will not intervene. The lower-court judge “considered the appropriate factors” in denying Zukerberg’s request, the panel said.

Zukerberg alleges in his lawsuit that the D.C. Council, by voting last year to delay the first attorney general election until 2018, violated the charter amendment mandating an elected attorney general that was passed by voters in 2010. The summary presented to voters specified the first attorney general election would take place in 2014, but the underlying text of the amendment says only that the election must take place after Jan. 1, 2014.

Under the appeals court ruling, Zukerberg may continue pursuing his lawsuit. But if he prevails, his remedies will not, at this point, include gaining a place on the 2014 primary ballot.

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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