Lake Elmo, MN (February 18, 2020) -- In October 2019, Republican Party Of Minnesota chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan notified the Minnesota Secretary Of State to only print the name of “Donald J. Trump” on Minnesota’s Republican presidential nomination primary ballot. The act prevented Minnesota Republican voters from being able to advance the nomination of Republican candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente. This drew a lawsuit from presidential Republican nominee hopeful De La Fuente and a Minnesota Republican voter, James Martin seeking to have De La Fuente’s name printed on the ballot. Originating in the Minnesota Supreme Court, the high court ordered De La Fuente’s name not be printed on the ballot, and stated its opinion as to why would follow.
According to the Star Tribune, Carnahan stated her job as party leader is to help re-elect the president next year. Martin, however, points out, “Article IV Section 8, of the Bylaws of the Republican Party Of Minnesota make it abundantly clear that her job is to seek out Rocky for his inclusion on my ballot and to not influence the nomination of Trump over Rocky. But, Minnesota Statute Chapter 207A, Section 13, empowers Mrs. Carnahan to put her own interests ahead of us Republican voters by preventing us from choosing for ourselves which candidate is worthy of our nomination.”
Late this afternoon, Martin submitted his vote as an absentee voter because he does not believe he will be in Minnesota to cast his ballot on Super Tuesday. “I registered as a Republican and wrote the name ‘Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente’ on the write-in line of my Republican Party ballot,” says Martin, “with full knowledge that Rule 16(d)(5) of the Republican Party allows Rocky to seek its nomination for President and Rocky is doing just that. Like other Republicans around the United States, I have chosen for the Republican Party to advance the nomination of Rocky De La Fuente.”
Minnesota Statute §207A.13, subd. 2(b) does not require Carnahan to determine if Martin’s vote for De La Fuente’s will advance his nomination until next week. Says Martin, “Unlike every single Minnesotan voting on Super Tuesday, I don’t know if my vote will be counted as a vote for the candidate of my choosing who is allowed by the party of my choosing to seek its nomination.”
Since issuing its order on January 9, 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court has not yet released its opinion. Says Martin, “How my party’s rights will be vindicated in its choosing to allow Rocky to seek its nomination is yet to be made known by our Supreme Court. And how my rights will be vindicated as it relates to my choosing which of my party’s candidates is to receive my party’s nomination is also yet to be made known. This is an American election, and we voters get to choose who best represents us from those who are allowed by the rules of our our party to seek our support. If I wanted to live under a law that allowed a party leader to disregard the rules of my party and pick my nominee for me, I’d move to Russia.”