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Texas challenger files suit to try to keep Donald Trump off Maine's ballot

Former President Donald Trump visits with campaign volunteers at the Elks Lodge, July 18, 2023, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall
/
AP file
Former President Donald Trump visits with campaign volunteers at the Elks Lodge, July 18, 2023, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

A Republican from Texas, John Anthony Castro, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Maine seeking to disqualify former President Donald Trump from Maine's 2024 ballot.

Castro's suit is similar to those filed recently in Colorado, New Hampshire and other states. They all rely on Section Three of the 14th Amendment, which bars from office anyone who had held elective office but "shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion" or "given aid or comfort" to such an effort.

Maine's chief election officer, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, and Attorney General Aaron Frey issued a statement late last month saying they were working together "to research and analyze the legal requirements for ballot access." Both Bellows and Frey are Democrats.

Republican Castro, in arguing for his right to file this suit, notes he has registered as a presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission. And, since Maine allows write-in candidates, it doesn't matter whether Castro will appear on Maine's ballot.