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State committee picks Trump and 14 Democrats for presidential primary ballots
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State committee picks Trump and 14 Democrats for presidential primary ballots

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Republicans on the bipartisan committee that selects candidates to appear on Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential primary ballots are fully committed to President Donald Trump, while Democratic members selected 14 candidates vying to unseat the president.

The decision to list Trump as the only GOP candidate could keep Republican challengers Joe Walsh, a former Illinois congressman, and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld off the April ballot.

Andrew Hitt, state Republican Party chairman and a member of the state Presidential Preference Selection Committee, said his party had not “seen the commitment” from Weld’s and Walsh’s campaigns.

The committee, which includes five Democratic and five Republican members, met Tuesday to pick candidates who will appear on the April 7 primary ballots. The committee is charged with selecting candidates whose candidacies are “generally advocated or recognized in the national news media throughout the United States.”

Any candidate not selected by the committee still can secure a spot on the ballot if he or she collects at least 8,000 nominating signatures by Jan. 28.

Democratic candidates selected by the committee are: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet; former Vice President Joe Biden; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; investor and activist Tom Steyer; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; spiritual leader and author Marianne Williamson; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Democratic members of the preference committee in 2012 selected only President Barack Obama, who was then seeking his second term, as a candidate that year, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Walsh on Tuesday tweeted his displeasure with the committee’s decision to leave him off the list.

“So yet another state in America wants to disenfranchise its voters,” Walsh said in the tweet. “That would make 10 states in which Republican Party bosses have cancelled primaries. All to protect their King.”

Weld called the decision “shameful” in a Tuesday tweet.

“(Trump’s) party bosses in Wisconsin just told millions of voters they don’t deserve a choice in the Republican primary,” Weld tweeted. “That’s not how a democracy works, and certainly not the way the party of competition and freedom should work.”

Any candidate not selected by the committee still can secure a spot on the ballot if he or she collects at least 8,000 nominating signatures by Jan. 28.

Any candidate not selected by the committee still can secure a spot on the ballot if he or she collects at least 8,000 nominating signatures by Jan. 28.

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