A Republican voter and a candidate for president are challenging the lack of options on the party’s March primary ballot in Minnesota.
A petition filed late last week asks the Minnesota Supreme Court to order the inclusion of Republican candidates beyond President Trump.
Candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and James Bernard Martin Jr., a Minnesota voter supporting De La Fuente, brought the case. They said it was wrong and potentially unconstitutional to omit other candidates.
“The purpose of a major political party primary election is, in essence, to give voters a choice among competitor candidates within the party,” their petition to the court said. “Without identified competitors, there is no reason for a primary election.”
Their attorney, Erick Kaardal, said the primary differs from the party-driven caucus process used in the past because of who is footing the bill for the election.
“This is nationally embarrassing that we have a taxpayer funded presidential primary with just one candidate on the ballot,” Kaardal said Monday. “It’s absurd — legally absurd, culturally absurd. It makes the state look really stupid.”
The petition names Secretary of State Steve Simon as the defendant. His office declined comment on the case.
Democrats are due to release their ballot slate Tuesday.
Both parties had a Dec. 31 deadline in law to do so.
Kaardal has asked for expedited consideration by the high court because ballot printing will begin in a matter of weeks. Voters can access absentee ballots starting on Jan. 17.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.