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Weld denied spot on New Mexico primary ballot

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld has been denied a spot on the New Mexico Republican primary ballot in June.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld speaks to reporters during a visit to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

And one state resident is raising questions about whether the state’s presidential nominating committee is following the law in denying him the right to challenge President Donald Trump.

A. Blair Dunn — who said he is a registered Republican and a supporter of Trump’s reelection bid — sent a letter to state Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura on Thursday requesting clarification as to why Weld is not being recommended for a spot on the ballot. Nakamura chairs the nominating committee and sent New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver a list of names to be certified for the ballot in the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian primaries. Trump is the only Republican listed on the letter dated Feb. 11.

The Weld campaign had not received notification of the committee’s decision, campaign spokesman Joe Hunter told the Journal.

Weld’s campaign sent Nakamura a letter on Feb. 3 requesting a place on the ballot. The letter from Weld campaign chief of staff Natalie Cookson expressed a belief that the former governor met state statute requirements, noting that he had raised more than $1.3 million in campaign contributions, had almost 18,000 individual contributors and had qualified for the ballot in 19 other states. He received more than 9% of the vote against the president in the New Hampshire primary.

“The failure of the Committee to follow the law, coupled with the appearance that you as a Republican allowed GOP Chairman Steve Pearce to intentionally refuse to consider the candidacy of Governor Weld gives the appearance that (the) Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court condoned the violation of state statute in aid of President Trump’s reelection,” Dunn wrote in his letter to Nakamura.

According to minutes provided to the Journal by the chief justice’s office, Nakamura provided the committee with a copy of Weld’s letter. But Pearce only placed Trump’s name in nomination to be on the ballot. There were no objections by the committee.

“Only one campaign has demonstrated a desire or capability to compete in the New Mexico Republican Primary election for President,” the state Republican Party said in a statement.

“Having election integrity means the process must conducted with transparency, accountability and fairness,” Dunn told the Journal. “What appears to have transpired in this instance does not comport with those notions when the law is broken or owing due process is denied by those in power in our government. Party affiliation or affinity for a certain candidate is no excuse for discrimination or not playing by the rules.”

The committee nominated and certified with the secretary of state the following Democrats: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. Max Abramson, Sorinne Ardeleanu, Ken Armstrong, Daniel Behrman, Lincoln Chafee, Jacob Hornberger, Jo Jorgensen, Adam Kokesh, John Monds, James Ogle, Sam Robb, Arvin Vohra and Mark Whitney were certified as Libertarian candidates.

Candidates not receiving the nomination of the committee may file petitions for placement on the primary ballot. Candidates submitting petitions for the office of president of the United States must have the consent of the candidate’s political party to file. The required number of signatures is equal to not less than 2% of the total number of votes for president cast in each district at the last preceding presidential election

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