'None of the Above' Not Allowed on Tennessee Ballot

A man running for governor and the United States Senate does not have the right to use his middle name, None of the Above, on the November ballot, a court ruled Friday.

The candidate, David Gatchell, filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Chancery Court after the State Election Commission voted to bar his middle name from the ballot. The court handles lawsuits against state agencies.

Chancellor Carol McCoy also ruled that Mr. Gatchell’s effort to add an issue-oriented notification on the ballot was against state law. And Ms. McCoy said the state had no constitutional requirement to place candidates’ full names on ballots.

Mr. Gatchell, who changed his middle name from Leroy, said he would appeal. He argued that several state candidates, like Walt Combat Ward and Carl Twofeathers Whitaker, had been allowed to include their nicknames on ballots, and that his middle name was widely known.