A Suffolk Democratic civic gadfly has filed objections to derail Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy in New York because he was born in Canada.
Gregory John Fischer of Calverton hand-delivered letters to the Suffolk Board of Elections in Yaphank filing general objections to the Cruz’s petitions for the April 19 state GOP presidential primary, as well as to Cruz’s delegate slate.
Fischer maintains the candidacy is fraudulent because “Ted Cruz is not a natural born citizen and is thus ineligible to run for the office of president of the United States.”
However, Republican rules for the state presidential primary do not require contenders to file petitions but allows them to run if they are certified eligible for federal matching campaign funds or are recognized by the state board to be a “nationally known and recognized candidate.” A candidate also has the option to file petitions with 5,000 names statewide.
The GOP delegates will actually be elected in a state convention and allocated proportionally among contenders based on the primary’s outcome.
Fischer, who has run without success 10 times for public office, said he was unaware of the GOP rules and later in the day mailed revised objections directly opposing Cruz’s candidacy based on his birthplace.
Fischer said he has standing to force Cruz from the ballot although he is a Democrat. “I think I have standing because I can vote in the general election and I’m a registered voter,” he said.
Neither the Cruz or Trump campaigns responded immediately to requests for comment and it could not be determined if any official objection has been lodged against Cruz elsewhere on the so-called “birther issue.”
Cruz has maintained it is a non-issue and he is eligible to run, while Trump has raised the specter that Democrats may seek to knock Cruz off the ballot.
Nicholas LaLota, GOP election commissioner, said he will consult with the state board of election over Fischer’s objections. However, LaLota said the Cruz eligibility may not be appropriate to raise at the elections board because the April primary does not elect a president but simply leads to the selection of delegates to nominate candidates at a national convention.
He added a president “isn’t selected in November either. The election is to choose electors for the electoral college and it’s the electoral college that actually elects the president.” In the past, LaLota said, “The state board of elections has said…these types of objections are invalid since the venue is incorrect. The election, at issue, is not a direct election for president.”
Fischer has launched many quixotic campaigns in the past including an unsuccessful effort to force the public elections of board members to the Long Island Power Authority. However, Fischer did begin an election challenge in 2010 that ultimately led to the removal Democrat Regina Calcaterra from the state Senate ballot over residency issues.