The "sham candidate" survives the first court challenge. Here are some key comments from the Judge:
Burke said without the support of Pearce supporters, Cortes would have had no chance of qualifying as a candidate or running any sort of political campaign, but reiterated that the court found no wrongdoing by Cortes herself. He said the courts should not, in most cases, be the final arbiter of the motives political candidates have for running for election.
"Divining candidates' motives and acting on them is more properly the role of the voters," Burke said. "Plaintiff's remedy is through the ballot box and not the courts."
He said the fact that many petition gatherers honestly told signers that signing Cortes' petition would help Pearce makes it additionally difficult for him to find fraud.