REPORT: Minnesota Republicans won’t allow any primary challengers on the ballot against Trump

It appears that the Minnesota Republican Party isn’t going to allow any challengers on the primary ballot to face Trump on March 3, 2020, as the chairwoman has submitted the ballot with only Trump’s name:

STAR TRIBUNE – President Donald Trump will be the only choice on the ballot in Minnesota’s Republican presidential primary, even though he is not the only candidate running.

That’s at the direction of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Its chairwoman, Jennifer Carnahan, sent a letter to the Minnesota Secretary of State on Oct. 24 outlining the party’s “determination of candidates” for the March 3, 2020 Republican primary ballot.

Trump is the only name listed. Absent are three other Republican candidates who, while long shots, are prominent political names running active campaigns: former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois.

The Republican Party of Minnesota released a statement from Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan. It said: “President Trump is extremely popular in Minnesota and my job as Chairwoman is to make sure we deliver our 10 electoral votes to the President on November 3, 2020.”

Under state law, “each party must determine which candidates are to be placed on the presidential nomination primary ballot for that party.” The deadline for that filing is Dec. 31, meaning the Minnesota GOP submitted its ballot more than two months earlier than necessary.

The political parties are also allowed to request a space for write-in candidates, or a space for voters to choose that delegates to the national party convention remain uncommitted. The Republican Party of Minnesota has not made either of those requests, said a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office.

State law says the ballot once set cannot be changed.

The candidates who are running against Trump are not happy, to say the least:

“The idea that we’re taking our cues from North Korea or the Soviet Union in terms of voter access and voter participation just seems weird to me,” Sanford said in an interview Thursday. Minnesota voters are the biggest losers, Sanford said, adding he suspects that state party leaders are worried a contested primary would show Trump isn’t as popular as they want to portray.

Lucy Caldwell, who is Walsh’s campaign manager, called it “appalling but unsurprising news, given the hold that Trump’s cult of personality has over some of these state party leaders.”

The Weld campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Joe Walsh tweeted this a few minutes ago:

I am not a fan of any of Trump’s primary competitors, but it seems wrong to me that their names shouldn’t at least be on the ballot. I don’t think they pose any significant threat to Trump so I’m honestly not sure why these strong-arm tactics are necessary. Strikes me as un-American, to say the least, to leave them off like this.

But maybe I’m missing something here?

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