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Originally published Friday, September 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Judge: Rossi will be listed as GOP (not Republican) on ballot

A King County Superior Court judge says Dino Rossi can identify himself on the November ballot as preferring the "GOP Party" instead of "Republican."

Seattle Times staff reporter

A King County Superior Court judge says Dino Rossi can identify himself on the November ballot as preferring the "GOP Party" instead of "Republican."

Some confusion over the term is "unavoidable and inevitable," Judge Richard Eadie said this morning. But he said it would be more confusing to try to change ballots so close to the election, especially when some military ballots have already been mailed out and returned.

The state Democratic Party challenged Rossi's use of the term GOP, which stands for Grand Old Party, a nickname the Republicans picked up in the 1870s. Recent polls have shown that some voters didn't know that GOP meant Republican.

Kevin Hamilton, attorney for the Democrats, said Rossi was using the term GOP to "try to cloak his membership in the Republican Party."

State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said Rossi has used the term GOP for years, and he questioned the validity of the recent polls.

The Secretary of State's state office also opposed the Democrat's lawsuit, arguing that it was too late to change the ballots and that the law didn't require it.

Democrats say they will not appeal Eadie's ruling.

Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or eheffter@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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