New York Pair Asks Court to Throw Cruz Off Primary Ballot

  • Cruz faces similar birther suit in federal court in Texas
  • Donald Trump has made Cruz's eligibility a campaign theme

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz should be struck from the ballot because he isn’t a “natural-born citizen,” two New Yorkers claim in a birther challenge filed against the junior senator from Texas.

Cruz, 45, should be disqualified from the New York Republican primary, set for April 19, because he was born in Canada, voters Barry Korman and William Gallo said in a complaint Wednesday in New York state court in Manhattan.

Cruz isn’t named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Instead, the suit targets the New York State Board of Elections to have Cruz’s name struck from the ballot. At least one other lawsuit, filed in January in Houston federal court, asked for a determination of Cruz’s eligibility to serve as president.

John Conklin, a spokesman for the Board of Elections, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump pressed the issue in January during a televised candidate debate in South Carolina, saying he’s bringing up Cruz’s Canadian birthplace “because now he’s doing a little bit better” in the polls. Trump has since threatened to sue Cruz over the eligibility issue if he doesn’t stop airing negative ads about the real estate mogul.

Eligible To Run

Cruz has argued that since his mother was a U.S. citizen he is eligible to run.

Rick Tyler, a spokesman for Cruz, didn’t immediately return a call for comment on the lawsuit.

Filing the complaint in state court instead of federal court will give the New York case an edge over the federal suit in Texas because it will be easier to establish standing for the voters, plaintiffs lawyer Roger Bernstein said in an interview. He said he sued the election board because it’s required by law to only put the names of qualified candidates on the ballot.

Bernstein has crossed paths in court with Trump previously. In September, he sued the billionaire over claims that security staff at the real estate mogul’s campaign office in Manhattan physically assaulted members of a group protesting his comments about Mexican immigrants.

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