Court rejects Democrat appeal to keep Green Party off ballot

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal court denied Democrats’ last-ditch effort Thursday to keep the Green Party from potentially hurting their electoral prospects in North Carolina, rejecting their request to block a lower court order placing Green Party candidates on the November ballot.

The North Carolina Democratic Party and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee asked the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to block an Aug. 5 district court order prohibiting the state elections board from enforcing a candidate filing deadline to keep the Green Party’s U.S. Senate candidate, Matthew Hoh, off the November ballot.

The court rejected the Democrats’ request for a stay in a one-page ruling Thursday, a day before the state board’s ballot printing deadline, without providing its reasoning.

The decision follows U.S. District Judge James Dever III’s order Wednesday denying the Democrats’ request that he block his own ruling in the Green Party case. Dever wrote that the Democratic organizations “clearly played a critical role” in delaying the Green Party’s ballot consideration and “do not appear in this court with clean hands.”

The Green Party accused Democrats Wednesday of trying to “sow confusion just long enough” for the Friday deadline to pass.

“As tomorrow is the deadline for finalizing ballot preparation, we believe this decision by the 4th Circuit keeps (state senate candidate) Michael Trudeau and me on the ballot in November,” Hoh said Thursday.

Democrats have warned Hoh’s appearance on the ballot could divide progressive voters and lead to a GOP victory in the tight Senate race between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Rep. Tedd Budd, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee also filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday urging the court to reject the Democrats’ emergency motion.

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Schoenbaum is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/H_Schoenbaum.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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