Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will not be included in the Super Tuesday primary in Maine, as state officials have confirmed that he did not meet the qualifications to be on the ballot. Despite the campaign’s efforts to appeal the decision, a Maine Superior Court judge has upheld the Secretary of State’s ruling on the matter.
“We appreciate that the court upheld the integrity of Maine’s well-established ballot access requirements,” Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said in a statement. “Every candidate, including presidential candidates, must follow the law to qualify for the ballot. We are glad that the court recognized that Maine law is workable and fair to all.”
In December, a letter from Maine Director of Elections Heidi M. Peckham informed Christie’s campaign that they had only submitted 844 certified signatures, falling short of the required minimum of 2,000 signatures needed to be placed on the ballot.
In response, a spokesperson for Christie’s campaign claimed that they had actually gathered 6,000 signatures and argued that the issue was a procedural one in the review process, which they were appealing.
However, the state court disagreed with this argument.
Following the court’s ruling, a spokesperson for Christie’s campaign stated to CBS News that they disagreed with the decision and were currently assessing their options.
Maine Superior Court Justice Julia M. Lipez ruled that Christie had failed to separate petition forms by town, as instructed by the Secretary, or alternatively, failed to allow enough time to submit the multi-town signature sheets to the relevant municipalities before the November 20 deadline.
Despite this setback, Christie still has the option to file as a write-in candidate, with a deadline of December 26 to do so.
As the most vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, who is currently the leading contender for the 2024 GOP nomination, Christie has become a target for conservatives who support Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Recently, after co-moderating the most recent 2024 GOP presidential debate, former Fox News star and top-rated SiriusXM podcaster Megyn Kelly admitted that she had prayed for Christie to qualify for the debate so she could ask him a crucial question on stage.
Kelly expressed her desire to question Christie about his stance on allowing permanent medical and surgical interventions for minor children who are experiencing gender confusion.
“You do not favor a ban on trans medical treatments for minors, saying it’s a parental rights issue,” Kelly began, setting up her question at the NewsNation-hosted event.
“The surgeries done on minors involve cutting off body parts at a time when these kids cannot even legally smoke a cigarette. Kids who go from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones are at a much greater likelihood of winding up sterile,” she added.
“How is it that you think a parent should be able to OK these surgeries — never mind the sterilization of a child — and aren’t you way too out of step on this issue to be the Republican nominee?” she asked.
“No, I’m not, because Republicans believe in less government, not more, and less involvement with government, not more involvement in people’s lives,” Christie began.
“And you know what, Megyn? I trust parents,” Christie, a former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, continued.
“And we’re out there saying that we should empower parents in education, we should empower parents to make more decisions about where their kids go to school — I agree,” Christie said.
“We should empower parents to be teaching the values that they believe in in their homes without the government telling them what those values should be,” he noted further, adding that his position comes “as a father of four” children.
Christie then said that “every once in a while, parents are going to make decisions that we disagree with” but then said, “The minute you start to take those rights away from parents, you don’t know that slippery slope, what rights are going to be taken away next.”
Ron DeSantis was then quick to attack his position:
As a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids. pic.twitter.com/HgJ4qhTJp2
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) December 7, 2023