Lawsuit claims RFK Jr. ineligible to appear on New Jersey ballot

A prominent Democratic election lawyer claimed in a suit that independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is ineligible for the ballot in New Jersey, adding hurdles to Kennedy’s already difficult effort to gain ballot access in all 50 states.

Scott Salmon argued Tuesday that Kennedy’s candidacy violates New Jersey’s “sore loser law,” which bars candidates who sought a nomination with a party to file an independent bid.

Kennedy initially entered the presidential race as a Democratic candidate, but switched to an independent bid last October, before primary elections.

“Courts in New Jersey have repeatedly upheld the Sore Loser Law in recent years to preclude individuals from running as independents even when they did not appear on the primary ballot itself,” Salmon wrote in the suit.

Salmon argued that Kennedy’s early campaign as a Democrat, including the solicitation of over $350,000 in donations from New Jersey residents, is more than enough to qualify under the “sore loser” provision.

“Biden is getting the nomination, not Kennedy, so I would call that pretty unsuccessful,” Salmon wrote on social media. “It’s pretty simple and that’s really all there is too it. He ‘unsuccessfully sought’ the nomination.”

Salmon has won similar challenges before. He led the charge to kick Ye, formerly Kanye West, off of New Jersey’s 2020 presidential ballot over challenges in the petition process. He has also been involved in multiple suits to bar local candidates over electoral process violations.

Kennedy’s campaign has claimed that it filed enough signatures to qualify for New Jersey’s ballot, though the petition will not be reviewed until late July.

Salmon said in a social media post that the effort isn’t backed by Democratic interests and that he is paying for the suit himself because he thinks that “it’s the right thing to do.”

The Hill has reached out to the Kennedy campaign for comment.

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