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Man Can’t Change Name To Ross Perot

Associated Press

He’s “Ross Perot” no longer.

A Kennewick man who legally changed his name to Ross Perot on July 30 must go back to being Bill Jesernig, a Benton County District judge ruled Tuesday.

The judge granted a motion filed two weeks ago by billionaire Texas businessman Ross Perot, who sought to reverse the name change, court administrator Carol Schneidmiller said Tuesday.

Jesernig said in his petition that he wanted to change his name “in order to run for president and win.” He has not filed for office.

Court officials said they had no choice but to approve the earlier name change request.

State law says name-change applicants must be approved unless they are trying to avoid creditors or are not of sound mind.

In an affidavit filed with the court, the Texas Perot contended voters might have trouble telling him from the new Perot.

“If Mr. Jesernig is allowed to retain my name, he will no doubt seek to capitalize on my reputation,” the affidavit said.

The Texas Perot is the Reform Party nominee for president.

Olympia attorney Shawn Newman, a Reform Party candidate for state lieutenant governor, filed the court papers on behalf of Perot.

“We thought about letting Mr. Jesernig have his fun, but down the line, the potential for confusion is so obvious,” Newman said in an interview two weeks ago. “What if he starts soliciting money?”

Jesernig’s phone number is unpublished and he could not be reached for comment Tuesday. There was no Kennewick listing for “Ross Perot.”

Jesernig, 35, is an unemployed rock concert promoter and a member of a prominent local family. His brother is Jim Jesernig, director of the state Department of Agriculture.

“It’s just something Bill has decided he wants to do. There’s nothing the family can do to stop him,” Jim Jesernig has said.

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