CARSON CITY, NV - And then there were just four.
What originally promised to be a free-for-all ballot with as many as 29 candidates, including several each from the major parties, the special election to fill Nevada's Second Congressional District seat will feature only a quartet.
Tuesday the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that Secretary of State Ross Miller had misinterpreted the state's special election law as allowing what he called a "ballot royale."
The decision allowed the major parties' central committees to each pick their own champion, which they did late last month.
Republican Mark Amodei and Democrat Kate Marshall will share the September 13 ballot with the Independent American Party's Tim Fasano and Independent Helmuth Lehmann, who qualified by collecting 100 signatures on a petition by a May 18 deadline.
Originally 29 candidates had filed. Tuesday's decision leaves former U-S Cole commander Kirk Lippold and others on the sideline. Lippold had said he was staying in the race even though the GOP leadership picked Amodei. At this point he can't qualify as an independent.
The ballot had to be finalized by July 6 to comply with federal election law ensuring overseas voters get their ballots on time.