April 18, 2024 12:56 pm

The premier news source for Snohomish County

It’s a bust, latest effort to remove Trump from WA State Primary Ballot fails

OLYMPIA—A Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled today, January 18, that the 45th President of the United States, Donald J Trump, is to remain on the Washington state’s Presidential Primary Ballot.

“We won,” Jim Walsh, Chair of the Washington State Republican Party said today in video posting on X regarding the judge’s ruling exclaimed. “The judge dismissed the charges and Joel did a great job of briefing the judge on making our argument on why their [activist he called it] attempt to remove Trump from the Presidential Primary was not a good lawsuit.”

Walsh added, “No matter what your party is… this is a win for democracy!”

Joel Ard, of Ard Law Group, representing the Washington State Republican Party, was pleased with the judge’s ruling.

“The court followed the law very accurately, we sent in the right lists, the Secretary [of State] sent it to the Auditors and the ballots are going out the way they should,” Ard said.

Trump primary ballot
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson on January 18, 2024, presiding over the case to remove the 45th President of the US, Donald J Trump, from the Washington State Presidential Primary Ballot. SOURCE: Snapshot from TVW video of the hearing.

Judge Mary Sue Wilson ruled that Secretary of State Steve Hobbs made no “error” when placing Trump’s name on the ballot.

“The court determines that the secretary of state acted consistent with his duties,” Judge Wilson said in the courtroom. “An order directing the secretary of state to take different action, an order from this court, is simply not supported by the statutes and not supported by the affidavit of the electors.”

In accordance with Thursday morning’s ruling, printing of ballots and voters’ pamphlets for the March 12 Presidential Primary will move forward with Trump’s name, the Secretary of State’s Office released in a statement on the ruling. 

“I am grateful that Judge Wilson ruled in such a timely and well-considered fashion, and that she recognized that I and my staff have been working in full compliance with state law governing the Presidential Primary,” Secretary Hobbs said. “We will continue working with our partners in county elections offices to get all the necessary materials for this election to every Washington voter.”

Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bassett declined to hear the case on Tuesday, January 16, to consider removing the 45th United States President, Donald J Trump, from Washington’s presidential primary ballot this upcoming March, stating Kitsap County was simply the “wrong venue.”

Trump primary ballot
Thurston County Superior Court hearing on January 18, 2024, of the case to remove the 45th President of the US, Donald J Trump, from the Washington State Presidential Primary Ballot. SOURCE: Snapshot from TVW video of the hearing.

According to documents obtained by the Lynnwood Times the filers of the Thurston County and Kitsap cases are residents Stefanie Shelton, Shayna Hartley, Robert Brem, Nicholas Roberts, Michelle Howald, Gwyn Johnson, Connor Shelton, and Frankie Ithaka. Involved parties include the Washington Secretary of State and the Washington State Republican Party.

The attorney representing the eight electors is a Mr. David Vogel.

The challenge was originally filed in Kitsap County on January 10, and contested the eligibility of Donald J. Trump for the office of President under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citing his involvement in the insurrection on January 6, 2021, according to court documents.

The attorney argued that according to RCW 29A.68.011 Section 3, Trump’s name was wrongfully placed on the Washington State Presidential Primary Ballot by the Secretary of State’s Office because, according to Vogel, the United States Congress found that Trump aided and abetted an insurrection as concluded in the January 6 final report and a second finding of fact in the Senate for impeachment for inciting an insurrection.

Although the 45th President of the United States, Donald J Trump, was formally impeached by the 117th Congress on January 13, 2021, for “high crimes and misdemeanors” related to the January 6th Capitol Breach, the Senate acquitted Trump of the impeachment charge on February 13, 2021.

The House’s January 6 Committee’s final report ruled that the former president criminally engaged in a multi-part conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 General Election and failed to stop his supporters from attacking the U.S. Capitol. However, President Donald J Trump refuted the committee’s unbinding findings.

“The unselect committee did not produce a single shred of evidence that I in any way intended or wanted violence at our Capitol,” Trump said in a video posted to Truth Social. “The evidence does not exist because the claim is baseless and a monstrous lie.”

Trump was disqualified from the primary ballots in Colorado and Maine but challenges to these rulings still leave his name on those ballots. On January 5, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling to disqualify the 45th President of the United States from the state’s primary ballot.

A total of 19 states nationwide has unresolved cases to do the same. These cases are based on an uncontested clause of a constitutional amendment enacted after the Civil War which disqualifies government officials for inciting insurrection or rebellion.

Trump primary ballot
The 45th President Donald J Trump speaking at his campaign’s post-caucus election party in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024. Snapshot from Right Side Broadcasting Network live feed.

As directed by state law RCW 29A.56, Secretary of State Hobbs provided the full candidate lists submitted by both political parties for the Presidential Primary to county auditors on January 9. The Democratic Party submitted three candidate names: Joseph R. Biden Jr., Dean Phillips, and Marianne Williamson. The Republican Party submitted five candidate names for the Presidential Primary: Donald J. Trump, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Chris Christie.

On January 10, Chris Christie officially suspended his race for the White House. In a hot-mic moment, Associated Press reports that Christie criticized fellow presidential contender Haley saying, “She’s going to get smoked… And you and I both know it. She’s not up to this.”

With 99% of the precincts counted, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J Trump, won the Iowa Caucus on January 15 with 51%, 29.8 points from the nearest contender. The margin of victory is the largest Republican Iowa Caucus win in its state history.

The Iowa Caucus, with its 40 delegates, is the first contest of the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary season. The performances of Trump, adds momentum for his campaign heading into New Hampshire next Tuesday on January 23 for its 22 delegates. The Nevada and the Virgin Islands caucuses are on February 8 and the much-anticipated South Carolina primary is on February 24.

According to the Federal Election Commission, as of September 30, 2023, Donald J Trump outraised President Joe Biden with $60,523,078 compared to Biden’s $56,760,363.  Trump has the most money on hand than any presidential candidate with $37.541 million, Biden has $32.18 million, DeSantis has $12.33 million, Haley with $11.55 million, and Robert F Kennedy Jr has $6.17 million.


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