Donald Trump to stay on 2024 Arizona ballot after lawsuit tossed

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Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, July 7, 2023, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Charlie Riedel | AP

Former President Donald Trump will remain on the 2024 presidential primary ballot in Arizona despite a legal effort to get him removed.

A federal judge tossed a lawsuit filed by Republican presidential candidate John Anthony Castro, who has been trying to use the legal system to get Trump off the ballot around the country over the events of Jan. 6, 2020, in Washington D.C. 

“Castro is not genuinely competing with Trump for votes or contributions, and therefore is not suffering a concrete competitive injury,” United States District Judge Douglas Rayes wrote in his opinion in the lawsuit filed against Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.

The judge also stated that Castro’s candidacy is based on the premise of getting Trump removed as opposed to actually pursuing the Republican nomination. In Castro’s X biography, it says that he is “2024 Republican Presidential Candidate Suing Trump to Disqualify Him for January 6.”

“Regardless of whether the Court focuses solely on the allegations in the verified complaint or also accounts for post-complaint developments and evidence outside the pleadings, Castro lacks standing to pursue his alleged implied private right of action because he will not suffer any real, genuine competitive injury by Trump’s inclusion on Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election ballot,” the judge’s opinion states. “And to be clear, the Court’s conclusion is not based on political prognostication or a perception that Castro is unlikely to win. Instead, it is based on a finding that Castro is not truly running for office.”

“Because Castro is not, in any real or concrete sense, competing with Trump for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Trump’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction will be granted,” he added.

In a recent post, Castro reiterated his anti-Trump stance.

“I have zero patience for cowards and halfwits that would rather attack me than go after Trump. If Trump doesn’t intimidate me, neither do you,” he said. “If you’re not with me, then you’re for Trump. And if that’s the case, you’re my enemy and I will destroy your career. #FAFO.”

Meanwhile, the Arizona Republican Party celebrated the lawsuit’s failure, after they filed to intervene.

“The Democrats will not decide who our nominee is, the voters will,” party chairman Jeff DeWit said in a video on Tuesday.

The Secretary of State’s office acknowledged the dismissal in a statement given to The Center Square.

“We have received notification of the case being dismissed and are working with the Arizona county election official to prepare for the Presidential Preference Election,” the office said in an email.

Previously, Fontes said that he would not be able to take Trump off the ballot based on 14th Amendment claims in his own capacity, The Hill reported in August. 

The Arizona presidential preference election is March 19.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.