Louisville Rep. Nima Kulkarni Disqualified by KY Supreme Court

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled against Rep. Nima Kulkarni, D-Louisville, has affirmed a lower court’s opinion disqualifying her as a candidate in the Democratic primary for the 40th House District.

Kulkarni easily won the primary, but the court ruled that this decision stands to nullify the results because she filed to become a candidate after a Republican served as a witness to nominate her—essentially violating Kentucky’s closed primary system.

The two-term state representative was allowed to remain on the ballot for the May primary and won the race; no Republicans filed. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday now places the general election in disarray.

The case came from former 40th House District Rep. Dennis Horlander, who Kulkarni defeated in the 2018 and 2020 Democratic primary.  The filing deadline for the race was Jan. 5, and Horlander filed his suit on March 8.

Supreme Court Justices argued that Kulkarni should have checked the voter registration of her candidacy witnesses.

Two years ago, a Republican candidate was disqualified in a primary race for the state House for the same reason, when a Democrat signed her paperwork for the GOP primary race. 

The next steps are unclear.