Trump faces challenge on eligibility for the New Hampshire ballot

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump is facing a ballot challenge in New Hampshire
  • A Republican leader says he's not a proper party member

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN)A complaint alleging Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is not eligible to be on the New Hampshire primary ballot was dismissed Tuesday.

Former state party chairman Fergus Cullen, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump's, appeared in front of the state's Ballot Law Commission and admitted that Trump is in fact a registered Republican, while also stating that he questions the candidate's allegiance to the party.
"It is my belief that Mr. Trump must present evidence that he is a registered member of the Republican Party because his views, expressed over decades, are inconsistent with the Republican Party platform and the Republican Party of New Hampshire's statement of principles and bylaws," Cullen said in a letter of complaint to the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission on Monday.
    Cullen recently hosted Trump rival John Kasich at a house party in New Hampshire. The two campaigns have been engaged in a war of words over the last week and the super PAC supporting the Ohio governor, New Day for America, sent out a statement voicing support for Cullen's actions Monday night.
    Cullen told CNN he had spoken to the group about the challenge, as well as others he says are concerned about Trump's candidacy.
    In order to be on the ballot in the first-in-the-nation primary candidates must be a registered member of either the Democrat or Republican party.
    On November 4th Trump filed paperwork at the New Hampshire State House to appear on the ballot as a Republican. New York voter information shows that Trump is currently registered in the state as a Republican.
    In light of this information, the commission unanimously voted to dismiss the complaint, with the chairman stating that it was not a forum for speeches or "advancing any other candidate."
    The state party's communications director, Michael Zona, told CNN that Trump's eligibility should not be challenged.
    "It is not the role of the Republican Party to determine eligibility beyond verifying party affiliation, and as Mr. Trump is a registered Republican in the state of New York, he is eligible to compete in New Hampshire's presidential primary. We do not support any effort to challenge his filing," Zona said in a statement.
    In his complaint Cullen points to press coverage of Trump's past affiliations -- registering as an independent and a Democrat in the past, and siding with Democrats like President Barack Obama and presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton on the abortion issue, though he's now on the other side.
    Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said in a statement Monday night that Cullen is aligned with rival GOP candidate John Kasich. The two campaigns have been engaged in a war of words over the last week.
    "No. 1, Mr. Trump's views do comport with the Republican Party and No. 2, from a constitutional stand point, there is such a thing as freedom of speech. To file such a document against the person who is not only the front-runner, but leading by tremendous margins is outrageous," Lewandowski said.