The Massachusetts Republican Party didn't want former Republican Governor Bill Weld's name added to the list of presidential candidates to appear on the state's primary election ballot on March 3, but the Democrats did and so it will happen.

Weld, a Democrat's Republican or RINO, supports impeaching President Donald J. Trump and has launched a campaign to challenge Trump's re-election. Good luck with that.

Secretary of State Democrat Bill Galvin had given all four recognized parties in Massachusetts until today to submit a list of candidates to be included on the ballot. The Democrats offered up a list of 15 candidates, including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The Green-Rainbow and Libertarian Parties also submitted candidates for inclusion.

The Massachusetts Republican Party submitted only one name: Trump. "Having a sitting president as the only name on the potential candidate list is not unprecedented, and is in fact, an established procedure," said MassGOP Chair Jim Lyons. But Democrat Galvin added two additional names to the Republican ballot: Weld's and that of former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh.

Galvin told the State House News Service, "I've already had a conversation with Mr. Lyons about this, and I told him that we had done our review and we thought Mr. Weld, as well as a former Congressman from Illinois, were national candidates."

Boston's National Public Radio station WBUR's most recent polling of New Hampshire Republicans "had the former Massachusetts governor trailing the president with 9 percent of the vote. Trump led Weld 82 percent to 18 percent in an Emerson College poll of Massachusetts Republicans from April." Does that qualify Weld as a national candidate? I've heard of no polling information concerning a Walsh candidacy.

There are several ways that candidates can have their names added to the primary ballot. They can be submitted by the party they hope to represent. They can collect 2,500 certified signatures. Or they can have the Democrat Secretary of State include them.

Weld left the Republican Party in 2016 to run for vice president as a Libertarian. Short of submitting the required certified signatures for inclusion, the Republican Party and not Galvin should be able to determine whether it wants Weld to represent it on the ballot. But of course, this is Massachusetts after all.

Weld should have to earn his spot on the ballot by collecting the required signatures.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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