Central Valley, CA — “I thought the hardest part of being an astronaut was the training. I didn’t realize it was going to be proving it in court,” said Jose Hernandez, Candidate for the 10th Congressional District.
A lawsuit was brought against Hernandez by a Sacramento law firm stating that, “Hernandez’s attempted use of ‘astronaut’ violates the [California] 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.”
Responding to the allegations, Hernandez stated, “I’m honored to have served my country and have confidence that common sense will prevail.”
Hernandez —a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut— spent two weeks in a mission at the international space station aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 2009 and was employed by NASA until January 2011.
On Thursday, March 29th, Judge Lloyd G. Connelly ruled that the June 5th Primary election ballots can describe Hernandez as an astronaut. “Hernandez was still on the NASA’s payroll during the first 14 days of January 2011,” said Connelly as he ruled the title proper.
“You cannot remove from him [Hernandez] the fact that he spent time in space. If we allow retired military personnel, Representatives, Senators, Vice Presidents and Presidents to retain their titles after they leave a mere Earth bound office, then surely we cannot strip from those who braved space theirs,” wrote blogger Craig A. Glesner on a letter to the law firm. “To do so would shame, you, me, our nation and all those who went before us to open the last frontier.”
Hernandez will maintain his title as “astronaut/scientist/engineer.”
“I have directed my campaign to vigorously defend against these charges and look forward to getting more opportunities to talk about my life story with Californians,” stated Hernandez.