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Trump will stay on ballot in Washington state

A judge in Washington rejected an effort to boot former President Trump off the state’s primary and general ballots in a ruling Thursday.

Thurston County, Wash., Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson’s ruling was in response to a challenge from a group of residents contesting Trump’s ballot eligibility under the 14th Amendment.

Wilson said she found Secretary of State Steve Hobbs (D) “acted consistent with his duties” during the process of making the candidate lists based on the parties’ submissions, the secretary of state’s office confirmed.

“An order directing the secretary of state to take different action, an order from this court, is simply not supported by the statutes and not supported by the affidavit of the electors,” Wilson said in her ruling.

Hobbs in a statement Thursday said he is “grateful” Wilson acknowledged he and his staff “have been working in full compliance” with the state’s laws for the presidential primary.

State Rep. Jim Walsh, chair of the Washington State Republican Party, celebrated the court ruling on social media.

“Some people will say this is about Trump, we say it’s about the democratic process,” Walsh wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “And a win for democracy today.”

Washington’s primary is March 12.

The challenge is one of several across the nation arguing Trump participated in an insurrection through his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots and should be kicked off the ballot as a result.

Most of the challenges have been unsuccessful, though in two states — Colorado and Maine — the state’s Supreme Court and top elections official issued decisions to remove Trump’s name from the states’ primary ballots.

Trump appealed Colorado’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will take up the case beginning in February. Maine’s case was appealed in the state’s Superior Court, and the justice assigned to the case issued a ruling Wednesday to defer judgement until the nation’s highest court weighs in on the dispute.

The former president leads the GOP field by a wide margin in both national and state-level polls and easily won the Iowa caucuses earlier this week by nearly 30 points ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to Decision Desk HQ. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley followed close behind.

All eyes are now on New Hampshire, which will hold its primary Tuesday. Trump is leading in the Granite State with 44.4 percent support, though Haley has narrowed this gap in recent weeks and falls just about 9.7 points behind the former president at 34.7 percent, according to a polling index by The Hill and Decision Desk HQ.

As for national polling, Trump holds a comfortable lead with a 49.8 point lead, according to The Hill and Decision Desk HQ’s polling index.

Updated at 4:29 p.m.

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