New Jersey, Judge Rules to Exclude Chris Christie from Maine’s Republican Primary Ballot


Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, failed in his latest attempt to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot in Maine on Thursday. His campaign was still trying to get back on track after a surprising loss in the Super Tuesday state.

Early this month, the office of the Maine Secretary of State said that Christie’s campaign did not have enough certified signatures from Maine voters to be eligible for the state’s Republican presidential election.

His campaign tried to change the ruling, but on Thursday, a judge in Maine’s Superior Court agreed with how the secretary of state handled the case.

“We’re glad the court upheld the integrity of Maine’s well-established requirements for getting on the ballot,” said Shenna Bellows, Secretary of State of Maine. “All candidates, even those running for president, must follow the law in order to be on the ballot.” We’re glad the court agreed that Maine law works and is fair for everyone.

Early this month, Heidi M. Peckham, the director of elections in Maine, said in a letter that Christie’s team had only turned in 844 of the 2,000 certified signatures needed to be on the ballot.

Before sending their signatures to the secretary of state’s office, candidates had to turn them into local clerks to be certified.

At the time, Christie’s campaign said they had 6,000 signatures and that the decision was “simply a procedural issue with the way they reviewed signatures and is under appeal.”

But Christie’s campaign’s points did not change the outcome of the Maine case.

Before the decision, a spokesperson for Christie’s campaign told CBS News on Thursday, “We disagree with the court’s decision and we are evaluating our options.”

Justice Julia M. Lipez of the Maine Superior Court said that Christie “either did not separate petition forms by town, as instructed by the Secretary, or did not give himself sufficient time to bring those multi-town signature sheets to the relevant municipalities before the November 20 deadline.”

Christie can still run for office in Maine as a write-in candidate. The secretary of state’s office says the last day to do this is December 26.

The news is the latest bad thing for Christie’s campaign. He is under a lot of pressure to drop out of the race and help build support for a different candidate than former President Donald Trump, who is currently leading the GOP race. Christie’s plan has been to put everything on the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary. His team has said that he has a plan for after the election, but the problems in Maine could make that sound less realistic.

Leading Republican candidates for president, as well as some long shots, will be on the vote in Maine on March 5. Trump, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, the preacher Ryan Binkley, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are some of them.

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