A federal judge threw out a request on Thursday to hold a new Tennessee Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
District Judge Kevin Sharp held the hearing in Nashville on a petition by candidate Larry Crim to keep the winner of the Aug. 2 primary, Mark Clayton, off the November ballot.
A lawsuit filed by Crim asked Sharp to stop the state from certifying the election, void the vote and order a new primary to take place by Sept. 15.
The state Democratic Party disavowed Clayton the day after the election. They claimed he is a member of an anti-gay hate group and not a real Democrat.
Clayton's name appeared first among seven little-known candidates in the Democratic Senate primary and he got twice the votes of the second-place finisher. Crim finished fourth in the Democratic primary to challenge Sen. Bob Corker, but he says Clayton should have never been on the ballot.
That's why he took state election commission leaders and the Democratic party to court in order to invalidate the primary results and hold a new primary.
"It may be inconvenient for the state to do it," said Crim. "But it's more than inconvenient to have the voters not be able to vote for their nominee in a fair and valid primary."
Thursday's hearing was short because Crim's attorney hadn't named the proper parties in the lawsuit, hadn't served all of the people in the lawsuit, and provided no evidence.
The Judge got agitated several times at Crim's lawyer before he threw out the request for a new primary.
"Yeah I knew he was going to be on the ballot, but I didn't know anything about his beliefs or about his party affiliations before," said Crim. "That's the job of the Democratic party to verify."
Crim says he won't give up on a new primary, but it could be a costly proposition. Election leaders say it would cost $4.6 million and jeopardize the November election.
"One Monday that counties are going to be done so the message is to proceed as normal and go on until November," said Mark Goins, Tennessee Election Coordinator.
As for Clayton, he says he's not surprised with Thursday's results.
"We knew that was going to happen," said Clayton. "They didn't have a legal leg to stand on."
During the hearing Clayton claimed that Crim had contacted him after the qualifying deadline and tried to get him to drop out in exchange for a job at Crim's campaign newspaper.
Crim denies there was any qui pro quo attempt.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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