Election official says Kentucky candidate nicknamed 'Trump' improperly trying to gain advantage

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) — A Republican candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State says he is prepared to take legal action if his nickname is not on the Republican primary ballot.

"My legitimate, bona fide nickname is Trump," Carl Nett told WAVE-TV. He said he's been called that since 2015 because of his "early support of candidate Trump."

Nett issued a statement Monday, saying his nickname — that he's lawfully entitled to — was intentionally removed from candidate filings.


One of Nett's Republican opponents, Michael Adams, previously served on the state board of elections and has a Harvard law degree. He said Nett's "Trump" nickname is breaking state law that "explicitly prohibits adopting a nickname to gain and advantage on the ballot."

Adams also believes the nickname is not genuine, as Nett purports.

Current Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes released a statement Friday that mirrored the same sentiment:

"Pursuant to the statutory authority granted to the Secretary of State by KRS 118.129(2), the Secretary of State’s Office determined that the candidate in question offered this so-called nickname in an improper attempt to gain an advantage on the ballot. Accordingly, the name of the candidate in question, Carl Nett, as reflected by the signature on his candidate filing papers, will be certified to appear on the ballot."

Adams said he recently passed a campaign sign put up last year for a previous election that had no mention of Trump.

Neither Nett's Facebook or campaign pages mention show the "Trump" nickname.

In his defense, Nett tweeted a photo of mail from Grimes', sent to "Mr. Carl 'Trump' Nett."


Nett is a former CIA officer and member of the Secret Service.

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