New Hampshire Secretary of State Backs Down, ‘Not Seeking’ to Remove Trump from Ballot

New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan told NBC News on Monday he is “not seeking to remove any names” from the Republican primary ballot after Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk urged his supporters to call Scanlan’s office following reports Scanlan was weighing using the Fourteenth Amendment to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot.

On Friday, Scanlan met with New Hampshire attorney Bryant “Corky” Messner to discuss Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which says public officials are not eligible to hold office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States.

Scanlan openly flirted with the idea of keeping Trump off the ballot, telling the Boston Globe he would confer with New Hampshire’s attorney general on the issue.

“Not being a lawyer and not wanting to make a decision in a vacuum, I will be soliciting some legal opinions on what is appropriate or not before I make any decision,” Scanlan told the Globe. “I have some in-house staff attorneys that are election experts. I will be asking the attorney general’s office for their input. And ultimately whatever is decided is probably going to require some judicial input.”

Charlie Kirk speaking with attendees at the June 3, 2022, Young Women's Leadership Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Charlie Kirk speaking in Grapevine, Texas. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)


Then, Kirk urged his supporters on Monday to contact Scanlan and express concern with the potential effort to use the Constitution to keep Trump off the ballot.

“I don’t care if you live in New Hampshire or not. It should be a nationwide movement of people contacting, because this impacts everybody,” Kirk said on his show. “We’re gonna break the phone lines and say, ‘Who do you think you are for even entertaining this?’”

That same day, Scanlan told NBC News he is “not seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot, and I have not said that I am seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot.”

Kirk warned Breitbart News, “We must stay vigilant against any and all efforts to stop Trump from being on the primary ballot.”

“The grassroots are watching and active,” Kirk added.

Regarding Friday’s meeting between the two, Scanlan said Messner “made a presentation to me about what he is thinking in terms of making a challenge to the former president’s qualifications.”

“I listened, just as I would listen to anybody that wants to come in with issues related to any candidate’s qualifications one way or the other,” Scanlan added. “I intend to be prepared by seeking appropriate legal input so that when the time comes to make a decision on those challenges, to qualifications, that I can respond appropriately with the facts.”

New Hampshire Secretary of State David M. Scanlan attends the summer conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State in Baton Rouge, La., Friday, July 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
New Hampshire Secretary of State David M. Scanlan attends a summer conference July 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)


New Hampshire GOP Chairman Chris Ager, who appeared on Kirk’s Monday show, called efforts to keep Trump off the ballot “antithetical to our ‘live free or die’ spirit.”

Ager said in a statement:

Efforts to deny New Hampshire Republican primary voters a full slate of options are antithetical to our “live free or die” spirit. The New Hampshire State Republican Party will fight all efforts to eliminate candidates from our primary ballot. I have confidence in our secretary of state and attorney general to make the right decisions. Let voters decide the nominee, not a weaponized federal justice system using tortured logic.

Ager remains “confident” that New Hampshire will keep Trump on the primary ballot.

“I’ve talked to the secretary of state,” Ager said. “I’ve talked to the attorney general. I am very confident that all of the 14 current candidates who apply will be on our ballot.”

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.

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