Hernandez defeats GOP challenge, will be 'astronaut' on ballot

Former astronaut and House candidate Jose Hernandez (D) has beaten back a Republican challenge to a description of him as an astronaut on the California ballot.

Republicans had challenged Hernandez's ballot distinction as an "astronaut / scientist / engineer" on the ballot, but a Sacramento judge ruled Thursday that Hernandez, who worked for NASA until early 2011 and flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery three years ago, can keep the description.

Hernandez also scored some political points off the challenge, releasing a Web video of himself in space with the title "Jose Hernandez IS an astronaut." The Web ad has gone viral, with almost 6,000 YouTube hits as of Friday morning — a high number for a video relating to a House race.

He is challenging Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) in a GOP-leaning seat in central California. The Hill rates the race as "lean Republican."

Watch Hernandez's video: