Nov 23, 2015 10:01 PM

Steinhauser: Ex-NHGOP chairman tries to knock Trump off NH primary ballot

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD – A former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party says Donald Trump shouldn’t be allowed on the first-in-the-nation primary ballot because the GOP presidential front runner has not proven that he’s a registered Republican.

And Fergus Cullen added that “it is my belief that Mr. Trump must present evidence that he is a registered member of the Republican Party because his views, expressed over decades, are inconsistent with the Republican Party Platform and the Republican Party of New Hampshire’s Statement of Principles and Bylaws.”

Trump’s campaign manager fired back, suggesting that if his candidate were taken off the ballot, his “supporters would probably riot in the streets of New Hampshire.”

Cullen, who chaired the NHGOP in 2007 and 2008, filed his complaint Monday with the state Ballot Law Commission, which will take up the matter starting Tuesday morning. Cullen’s complaint is one of four filed with the commission. The other three are aimed at other presidential candidates who filed to put their name on the New Hampshire primary ballot.

In his complaint, Cullen goes on to say that “before deciding to run for president, Donald Trump was a registered Democrat and a registered independent.”

Trump was a registered Republican in the 1980’s and 1990’s, but spent much of the past decade as a registered Democrat. He re-registered as a Republican in 2009 and again in 2012. And the New York State official elections website currently has Trump listed as a registered Republican.

Cullen has been a frequent and vocal critic of Trump this year.

A super PAC supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who’s also running for the Republican presidential nomination, is supporting Cullen’s challenge to Trump. New Day for America, which last week went up with the first of what it says will be more than $2 million in ads in New Hampshire slamming Trump, is also questioning the GOP front runner’s credentials.

“Like many other Republicans, we question Donald Trump’s conservative credentials and are happy to support Mr. Cullen’s efforts to challenge Trump’s standing on the New Hampshire Republican primary ballot,” said New Day for America press secretary Connie Wehrkamp.

“Unlike Trump, Ohio Governor John Kasich is a proven conservative who will stand up for the values Republicans hold dear,” Wehrkamp added.

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski returned fire at Cullen and Kasich Monday night.

“Fergus Cullen works for John Kasich who is embarrassed by how poorly he is doing in all polls. Mr. Trump was the first candidate to file, the filing is flawless, and Mr. Trump is leading in all national and state polls. Most importantly, he is leading by nineteen points in New Hampshire with 32% of the vote. Additionally, in the latest FOX News poll, Mr. Trump easily beats Hillary Clinton one on one,” wrote Lewandowski.

“Number one, Mr. Trump’s views do comport with the Republican party and number two, from a constitutional stand point, there is such a thing as freedom of speech. To file such a document against the person who is not only the frontrunner, but leading by tremendous margins is outrageous. If anything like this would ever happen Mr. Trump’s supporters would probably riot in the streets of New Hampshire. This is yet another attempt by the failed GOP establishment to keep Mr. Trump off the ballot because they know he is the only one who can Make America Great Again,” Lewandowski added.

The Ballot Law Commission is the body that decides election filing disputes. The commission will also deal with a complaint challenging independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont’s eligibility to be on the Democratic primary ballot, and a complaint challenging the eligibility of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to be on the GOP ballot.

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