*(SACRAMENTO) A judge ruled Thursday afternoon that Democratic candidate José Hernández can indeed call himself an “astronaut” on the official ballots for U.S. Congress, according to a late report from the California state capital.
(SACRAMENTO March 26) He’s a NASA veteran who has been to the International Space Station and back and here we have a photo of him in his pinche space suit, but GOP lawyers who oppose Democrat José Hernández’s bid for seat in the U.S. Congress are demanding he stop calling himself an “astronaut.”
Unless Californian Hernandez can prove he is still an astronaut, the lawyers say, he has to stop referring to himself using that title.
“Astronaut is not a title one carries for life,” Republican operatives asserted in a lawsuit filed in Sacramento County last week.
The suit notes that Hernandez did not make any money from NASA last year. From the Fresno Bee:
“Hernandez’s attempted use of ‘astronaut’ violates the Election Code’s unambiguous requirement that a candidate’s ballot designation reflect one’s current profession, vocation, or one held during the previous calendar year,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit quietly filed Wednesday in Sacramento County Superior Court by the firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk strikes right at the heart of Hernandez’s biography. It’s a life story he’s making considerable use of as he seeks to challenge freshman Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock.
“I went from plowshares to the stars,” Hernandez told supporters when he announced his candidacy in Modesto in October.
The French Camp native, born into a farmworker family, trained as an engineer at the University of the Pacific and was selected as an astronaut candidate in May 2004. He flew aboard the shuttle Discovery in 2009 and left NASA in January 2011.
“The challenges our country is facing are far too important to waste any more time on petty partisan political games,” Hernandez said Friday.
Make sure you check out POCHO’s Song for a Latino Astronaut: