JUNEAU — Alaska Democrats are suing the state after Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott denied the party's request to allow candidates not affiliated with a political party to run in the Democratic primary.

The party says the lawsuit, filed Monday, is challenging a state law that requires a candidate seeking a party's nomination to be a registered voter of that party. Party chair Casey Steinau has said that Democrats believe the law is unconstitutional and unenforceable based on research done by attorneys for the party.

In response to the party's request, Mallott said it's up to courts to decide whether a law is ultimately constitutional.

Steinau says the party has a constitutional right to allow independents who already can vote in the Democratic primary to compete for the party's endorsement.

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