Democratic Lawmakers in Minn. Seek to Include Trump Rivals on GOP Ballots
MINNEAPOLIS — Lawmakers from Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party are studying legislation to open access to presidential primary ballots after the state Republican Party excluded rivals to President Donald Trump from the state’s March 2020 GOP primary.
Trump was the only candidate submitted to the Minnesota secretary of state by the state’s GOP chairwoman, Jennifer Carnahan, last month even though there are at least three other Republican candidates running active campaigns for the party’s nomination. Coming under criticism from Democrats as well as some Republicans, Carnahan has since said the party will allow for write-in candidates.
On Monday, state Reps. Jamie Long and Raymond Dehn — both Democrats from Minneapolis — said they will introduce legislation in February that would allow candidates to be listed in presidential primaries if they file an affidavit and pay a fee, reverting to the process the state used until it switched to a caucus system after the 1992 presidential primaries.
“This is the way Minnesota used to do it, and it works well for our senate and governor races,” Long said. “Minnesotans are proud to vote in the highest numbers in the country and we deserve respect, not sham primaries.”
Minnesota GOP officials called the DFL effort unwarranted.
“It is unfortunate that Democrat elected officials are attempting to impede the will of the Republican Party of Minnesota by introducing retroactive legislation affecting the Presidential Preference Primary here in Minnesota,” Carnahan said in a statement. “If the State Legislature wanted to change the Presidential Primary process, they were required to act long ago.”
With less than a month separating the Feb. 11 start of the next legislative session and the March 3 Super Tuesday primary in Minnesota, Long and Dehn are holding on to hope that their proposal can advance in time to have an effect on the 2020 presidential primary.
“Minnesota’s voters, regardless of political affiliation, should not have their choices limited by a small group of party leaders,” added Dehn, who also chairs a House subcommittee on elections.
Carnahan noted that Dehn was among those who voted for the 2016 state law that re-established the primary process for the 2020 election and spelled out the process for party chairs to submit lists of candidates to appear on the ballot. She informed the secretary of state of her party’s decision to exclusively put Trump’s name on the ballot more the two months before the Dec. 31 filing deadline.
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois are each also running active, if long shot, campaigns for the Republican nomination.
But Carnahan said that none of those GOP candidates is running a national campaign, noting that the candidates have missed ballot access deadlines in other states and have not campaigned in Minnesota.
In unveiling their plans for the new legislation, Dehn and Long on Monday cited a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Cook Political Report that found just 58% of Minnesota Republicans say that they would “definitely” vote for Trump in 2020.
©2019 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor is facing federal fraud charges after allegedly lying about transferring nanotechnology research to organizations associated with the Chinese government. On grant applications and tax forms, MIT professor Gang Chen allegedly did not disclose that he had received $29 million from... Read More
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is planning to depart Washington, D.C., next Wednesday morning, rejecting a last-minute push by White House advisers for him to host incoming President Joe Biden before the inauguration. Trump had previously announced he did not plan to attend Biden's inauguration, but... Read More
WASHINGTON - Russel Honoré, a retired lieutenant general best known for commanding the military relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, will lead an in-depth review of security at the U.S. Capitol Complex, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday. “Last week, we suffered a devastating... Read More
WASHINGTON — This week, U.S. Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., sent a bipartisan letter to Operation Warp Speed leadership urging them to consider the unique challenges of vaccine distribution to rural areas across Wisconsin and take steps to support timely and equitable vaccine... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Chuck Schumer is used to drinking from a firehose. But the incoming Senate majority leader has never taken on such a torrent of challenges, with the opening days of both the Biden administration and Democratic control of the Senate coming at the very... Read More