Former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have been dropped from the presidential primary ballot in Maine, the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed.
The Secretary of State’s Office released a press statement Friday night listing the confirmed presidential candidates for Maine’s primary ballot. The release noted that candidates were “required” to submit “2,000 signatures from Maine voters” by Friday at 5 p.m. to be considered. (RELATED: ‘There Is No Consensus’: Chris Christie Reveals Why He Wouldn’t Sign Heartbeat Bill If President)
Maine’s Director of Election’s Heidi M. Peckham notified Christie’s campaign that they had only received 844 valid signatures from the group, according to CBS News. However, the former New Jersey governor’s campaign told the outlet that they had “collected and submitted over 6,000 signatures.”
“The campaign collected and submitted over 6,000 signatures,” a campaign spokesperson for Christie told CBS News. “This is simply a procedural issue with the way they reviewed signatures and is under appeal.”
Former Govs. Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson are the only GOP candidates still in the presidential race to be missing from the list of candidates on the Maine primary ballot. https://t.co/pkISEN8lIx pic.twitter.com/jDpYflHs7K
— The Hill (@thehill) December 2, 2023
Hutchison notably was unable to attend the second and third GOP debates, failing to reach the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) required support from donors and minimum poll numbers. Although Christie has been able to make all three GOP debates, both candidates have been recently struggling in national polls, falling just at 1% or less, according to The Messenger.
This is the first primary election that will be conducted under the state’s new semi-open primary law, allowing voters who are registered with no party affiliation to vote in any party’s primary, according to CBS News. In addition, if a voter is also enrolled in a party already but wants to leave, they have to wait 15 days after leaving before they can join a new party and cast their ballot, the outlet reported.
As of now, Maine’s options for Republican presidential candidates will be: former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burum, and Texas businessman Ryan Binkley.
Democrat author Marianne Williamson was also notably dropped from the ballot, leaving President Joe Biden and Rep. Dean Phillips as options for voters.
The press release also notes that “any registered Maine voter” will be allowed to challenge the “validity” of the primary ballot until Dec. 8 at 5 p.m.