HELENA – Republican Ron Paul does not want to be on the Montana ballot as the Constitution Party presidential candidate, but state election officials said Thursday it may be too late to remove his name.
Paul, in a letter to the secretary of state, said his name was nominated by the Constitution Party of Montana without his permission.
The secretary of state’s office said there does not appear to be a provision to remove Paul’s name at this point. At least some counties have started printing ballots, officials said.
“We have received the letter, and we are looking at the law. So far, we are not sure that the law allows for anything to be done about the situation,” said agency spokesman Bowen Greenwood.
The Montana Constitution Party put Paul’s name on the ballot earlier this week. Paul supporters said, at the time, that they had Paul’s permission to do so.
In his letter dated Wednesday, Paul said he never wanted to be on the ballot. Paul lost a bid for the GOP presidential nomination earlier this year.
“While I certainly appreciate the Constitution Party of Montana’s nomination, and all of the hard work of its members, I am writing to respectfully request that you remove my name from the ballot in Montana as I did not seek nor consent to this nomination,” Paul wrote.
Paul also said the national Constitution Party candidate, Chuck Baldwin, should be on the ballot instead.
Paul’s spokesman confirmed the Texas congressman wants off the ballot in Montana.
Dave Hart, Paul’s campaign coordinator during the Montana primary, said he spoke with Paul last week at a breakfast meeting. Hart said Paul gave him permission to be placed on the ballot.
Hart said he can’t explain why Paul was now asking to be taken off the ballot.
“I told him the Montana Constitution Party made this request. He said he was not going to encourage or discourage it, and as long as it didn’t require him to sign a form with the secretary of state, it would be fine,” Hart said. “I’m a little perplexed now.”