Chris Christie Suffers Big Setback in Maine

Former NJ governor won't appear on ballot despite appealing to court
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2023 6:30 AM CST
Chris Christie Suffers Big Setback in Maine
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie speaks at a town hall campaign event at Turbocam, a machining company, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, in Barrington, NH.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Chris Christie won't appear on the Republican presidential primary ballot in Maine—the latest blow to the former New Jersey governor, who's facing pressure to drop out of the race. The Maine Secretary of State's office said this month that Christie's campaign had submitted just 844 of the 2,000 certified signatures required to appear on the ballot, per CBS News. The campaign claimed to have gathered 6,000 signatures and appealed to the Maine Superior Court. In a Thursday ruling, Justice Julia M. Lipez said Christie "did not separate petition forms by town, as instructed by the Secretary, or, in the alternative, give himself sufficient time to bring those multi-town signature sheets to the relevant municipalities" before a Nov. 20 deadline. Municipal clerks are only required to verify signatures of voters from their town, per Maine Public Radio.

"We appreciate that the court upheld the integrity of Maine's well-established ballot access requirements," Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said Thursday, per CBS, adding that even presidential candidates "must follow the law." A rep for Christie's campaign said that "we disagree with the court's decision, and we are evaluating our options." Christie could still file as a write-candidate in Maine, with four days left until the Dec. 26 deadline, per CBS. Six other Republican presidential candidates will appear on the ballot on March 5: former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and pastor Ryan Binkley. (More Chris Christie stories.)

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