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Gubernatorial Candidate Positive Nelson Files Restraining Order To Get Back on Ballot


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FREDERIKSTED — On the first day that early primary elections voting begins on St. Croix and St. Thomas, the Supervisor of Elections will not be able to supervise voting — because Caroline Fawkes is scheduled to appear in Superior Court that day, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

Gubernatorial Candidate Positive T.A. Nelson of St. Croix and his running mate restaurateur Gary Udhwani have filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) to get back on the ballot, according to court documents obtained by the V.I. Free Press.

The TRO filed Friday asks the court for “injunctive” relief to get Nelson and Udhwani back on the ballot. Brenda Charles of St. Croix is a plaintiff with the two candidates in the lawsuit.

Superior Court Administrative Judge Harold Willocks granted the request for a “preliminary injunction hearing” the same day.

Nelson will appear in court on Wednesday July 18 to make his case that his team was unfairly kept off the ballot by the Elections System of the Virgin Islands.

A preliminary injunction hearing is a court hearing to determine the merits of the case.

Fawkes has been named as the defendant in the case in her official capacity as elections supervisor for the territory.

It is the same day early primary elections voting begins in the territory.

Nelson asked the Elections System to take him off the ballot on May 7 because he said he could not find a running mate.

Then Gary Udhwani, the owner of Thali Restaurant, came forward as Nelson’s running mate the next day.

The filing deadline for local candidates was May 8. Some of the signatures for the team of Nelson-Udhwani were signed on April 11 — well before the St. Croix senator arranged for Udhwani to join him on the ticket.

Fawkes ruled on May 21 that the Nelson-Udhwani ticket was defective and could not be cured, so it was disqualified from the election.

Judge Willocks sent the order demanding the Superior Court hearing to V.I. Attorney General Claude Earl Walker, Attorney Trudy Fenster and Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s chief legal counsel Emile Henderson.

On June 8, Nelson said that Fenster would represent him in his bid to get back on the ballot.

Nelson is primarily known as the legislator whose multiple efforts to make medical marijuana use legal in the territory have failed.

WINNING TEAM? Positive T. A. Nelson and his running mate Gary Udhwani.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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