AUGUSTA (AP) – State election officials and independent candidate for governor Phillip Morris NaPier are at odds over whether NaPier should get the designation “People’s Hero” on the Nov. 7 ballot.

NaPier, who is not enrolled in a political party, wants the words “The People’s Hero” to appear next to his name, saying his name was legally changed to include those words.

But the secretary of state’s office says voter registration forms that NaPier filed with the town of Windham didn’t include the People’s Hero moniker. In addition, the state says NaPier’s latest motor vehicle records, from February 2006, identify him as Phillip M. NaPier.

“Under the circumstances, we assume that you have reverted to using the name Phillip Morris NaPier,” says a July letter to the candidate from Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn. “Accordingly, you will be listed on the ballot as NaPier, Phillip Morris.”

Phone and e-mail messages left with NaPier on Thursday were not immediately returned.

Officials are allowing some flexibility, saying the candidate still has time to show his legal name includes the words “People’s Hero.” But he has to prove it soon.

“The clock is ticking and the ballots have to be printed soon,” Deputy Secretary of State Doug Dunbar said Thursday.

The state simply says no on another issue. NaPier wants to include the words “Pissed Off Patriot” next to his name to show his political affiliation.

The state refuses to do so, citing a law barring the use of vulgar or obscene language on the ballot, Dunbar said.

However, the state is open to abbreviating that to the single word “Patriot,” or even the “People’s Hero” as a political designation.

NaPier’s Web site identifies the candidate as “Thu People’s Hero,” with no explanation for the spelling of the first word.

A longshot candidate who was a write-in candidate for governor in 2002, NaPier runs a Web site called Felons United that calls for equal rights for felons. His Web site says NaPier, a former Internal Revenue Service employee who later worked as a tax consultant, served nine months in prison.

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