Gubernatorial candidate Ken Larsen has sued Utah Libertarian Party leaders, claiming they violated his rights and their own rules by denying him the party's nomination and stripping him of membership.
The 3rd District Court complaint filed Tuesday seeks a court order requiring the Libertarian Party to place his name on the Nov. 5 general election ballot as the party's nominee.The flamboyant Larsen also asks for $50 million in punitive damages and $328,000 in claimed actual damages, the latter amount equal to what Larsen claims his salary would be over four years if elected.
Utah Libertarian Chairman Jim Lorenz and other officers meeting as the party's executive committee repudiated Larsen's candidacy and kicked him out of the party during a May 15 "trial."
They found Larsen guilty of "un-Libertarian" conduct when he continued claiming to be the party nominee following his defeat at the organization's May 4 convention.
Larsen's suit cites the party's constitution that says if there is only one candidate filed for an office, that person shall win the party's nomination without being required to run at a convention.
Delegates during the convention rejected Larsen on a 17-16 vote, citing his antics as an embarrassment, including his activities as a leader in the Church of the Hemp Goddess - a group celebrating the use of marijuana.
Larsen's suit alleges the convention vote amounted to illegal religious religious discrimination.