State Watch

Michigan GOP attempting to have Trump be only Republican candidate on ballot

The Michigan Republican Party submitted a list of candidates Tuesday in which President Trump is the only GOP candidate set to appear on the primary ballot on March 10.

The Detroit Free Press reports the list containing only Trump may not be final, as Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) has a different list of potential GOP candidates.

Benson’s list of presidential primary candidates, released last week, consists of Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, and former Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.). Sanford announced on Tuesday that he was dropping out of the race.

{mosads}The Michigan GOP, however, is asking Benson to take up their list, saying that Trump is the only “legitimate candidate” in the GOP field, according to the news outlet.

“If other candidates want to get on the ballot, they should do a show of strength and get their nominating petitions,” Tony Zammit, spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party, told the Free Press. “We’re recommending that [Benson] approve only Trump for the Republican ballot.”

The candidates who appeared on both Benson’s list and the Michigan Republican Party’s list qualify to appear on the GOP primary ballot in the state, so it is unlikely Trump will run uncontested, the news outlet notes.

Laura Cox, chairwoman of the Michigan GOP, said Trump’s campaign was the only among Republican candidates that contacted her office about appearing on the ballot.

Several other states have moved forward in having Trump be the only Republican candidate on their respective ballots. Candidates challenging Trump for the GOP nomination have decried state parties who they allege are subverting the democratic process by closing off access to the primary ballot.

Michigan is widely considered a swing state in the upcoming election after Trump bested Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by just over 10,000 votes in 2016.

State Watch