ALBANY — Republicans on Tuesday canceled their presidential primary in New York after William Weld failed to qualify for the ballot to challenge President Donald Trump.
The state Board of Elections ruled that Weld, the former Massachusetts governor and 2016 vice presidential candidate on the Libertarian ticket, fell short of submitting a full slate of delegates to qualify.
Under state law, there’s no primary when just one candidate qualifies.
The Democratic primary, set for April 28, is unaffected.
“The Board of Elections certified that President Trump is the only presidential candidate qualified to be on the ballot, therefore there will be no Republican presidential primary,” state GOP chairman Nick Langworthy said in a statement. Langworthy said the lack of a contest shows the party is “100%” behind Trump.
Weld’s attempt to challenge Trump in New York was a long shot. But some Republicans have fretted that cancellation of the primary might impact a number of down-ballot special elections also set for April 28 — because turnout among Democrats that day is expected to be significantly higher than among Republicans.
Republicans have been particularly concerned about the contest to succeed Chris Collins, an ex-congressman from Buffalo convicted in an insider-trading scandal.
There’s also a special election to fill a vacant state Assembly seat in Suffolk County, in which Republican Keith Brown faces Democrat Michael Marcantonio.
Weld needed to submit three delegates and three alternatives for each of New York’s 27 congressional districts — a total of 162 individuals. Last week, Weld put forward just 25 delegates and three alternates, a state official said. He had until Monday to fill out his slate.
“He is ineligible to appear on the presidential ballot for the Republican primary based on his failure to submit a complete list of delegates,” Peter Kosinski, the Republican co-chairman of the state board, said Tuesday.