Judge: Green Party candidate belongs on North Carolina ballot

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate must be placed on the November ballot, a federal judge ruled Friday, despite repeated attempts by Democrats to stop the Progressive Party from screwing up one of its best chances for a seat. in the narrowly divided chamber.

U.S. District Judge James Dever III’s order bars the state board of elections from enforcing a July 1 filing deadline to keep Green Party Senate candidate Matthew Hoh off the ballot in North Carolina. North.

Although the Green Party had earlier this year filed a petition to qualify as a new political party, the electoral board initially shot it down amid an ongoing investigation into the party’s signature-gathering process, prompting the Green Party now certified miss the deadline.

Dever canceled a federal court hearing scheduled for Monday and gave Hoh until Wednesday to file his paperwork before the board’s Aug. 12 ballot printing deadline. But Hoh said he is concerned that an “outrageous new lawsuit” in state court could interfere with Friday’s favorable ruling in federal court.

North Carolina Democrats, represented by the powerful Washington-based Elias Law Group, asked a state court Wednesday to reverse the unanimous vote of the board certifying the Green Party. Democrats’ lawsuit marks their latest attempt to block the ballot after they acknowledged pressure signatories to retract their names of the Green Party petition.

Democrats warned that Hoh’s appearance on the ballot could divide progressive voters and lead to a GOP victory in the tight Senate race between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Rep. Tedd Budd, who was endorsed by the Republican Party. former president Donald Trump.

The federal judge’s ruling acknowledged that parallel litigation had been filed, but directed the board to place Hoh on the ballot since federal law takes precedence over state law, in accordance with the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. The US Dever recommended the board follow his instructions despite the case in Wake County Superior Court, writing that the federal court has jurisdiction over “this federal constitutional claim.”

“This important legal victory comes on the heels of unprecedented intimidation, harassment and voter fraud perpetrated by well-funded partisan operatives to keep us off the ballot,” North Carolina Green Party Co-Chairman Tony Ndege said Friday. .

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Schoenbaum is a staff member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/H_Schoenbaum.

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