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Ted Cruz ballot eligibility challenged in federal court by Calverton man

03/15/2016 6:00 AM |

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Calverton resident Greg Fischer has officially filed suit against Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, saying he is “ineligible and disqualified to run/seek the Office of the President of the United States of America.”

Mr. Cruz, who is currently running second in the Republican national delegate total to businessman Donald Trump, has been fighting allegations that he is unfit to seek the presidency because he was born in Canada. Therefore, the suit claims, he is not a natural born citizen — one of the requirements under Section 1 of Article 2 of the United States Constitution.

Mr. Cruz has fought off the claims noting that he is a naturalized citizen, since his mother was born in Delaware.

“In fact, the evidence at hand suggests that his ‘naturalized’ citizenship was fraudulent and may be voidable,” the suit states.

The suit, filed on Friday, came just days after a New York State judge dismissed a similar claim in Albany County, saying the allegations were made too late. Any objection to a candidate’s petition, per state law, must be made within three days of submittal. The plaintiffs filed suit nearly three weeks after Mr. Cruz submitted his petition.

Mr. Fischer’s suit, however, was filed in federal court, in the Eastern District Court of New York. In fact, his suit noted that filing in the lower court would be a “fool’s errand.”

He had written to the state Board of Elections in February attempting to get Mr. Cruz’s name off the ballot, though the agency ultimately wrote him back noting that it was not the proper venue to make that determination.

Mr. Fischer claims that because Mr. Cruz is receiving federal funds for his campaign, “any ‘fraudulent’ or otherwise ineligible candidate causes the waste and squandering of U.S. taxpayer monies.”

The suit seeks to declare Mr. Cruz ineligible for president, to provide a more precise definition of “natural born citizen” and to award Mr. Fischer reasonable costs, expenses and attorney fees.

Mr. Fischer has unsuccessfully sought local office several times, aiming for town supervisor and New York State Comptroller seats, among others. He most recently finished third in a three-person race for assessor.

Mr. Fischer has tasted some success in the past in getting a candidate’s name removed from a ballot. In 2010, state Sen. Ken KaValle’s campaign successfully challenged the residency of Regina Calcaterra, a Democrat who was going to face him in the general election. State courts eventually ruled her ineligible to run. Mr. Fischer, who has sought the Democratic nomination to oppose Mr. LaValle in the past, was the first to bring the issue to light.

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