A federal judge dismissed a case Tuesday seeking to remove former president Donald Trump from Arizona’s presidential ballot.

John Anthony Castro, a little-known Republican presidential candidate, filed the lawsuit in September alleging that Trump is ineligible for office under the Fourteenth Amendment because he provided “aid and comfort” to Jan. 6 “insurrectionists.” U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes, an Obama appointee, ruled that Castro does not have standing to sue because there is “no evidence” he has Arizona supporters or is truly running for office.

Castro had claimed Trump’s candidacy would harm him by drawing away votes and fundraising. The judge wrote that Castro is “attempting to manufacture a competitive injury solely for purposes of pursuing litigation.”

“Although this evidence shows Castro’s name likely will appear on the Republican ballot in Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election, it does not convince the Court that Castro is genuinely competing with Trump for votes or contributions, or that he has any chance or intent to prevail in that election,” the ruling states. “Castro offers no evidence that he has Arizona supporters, that he has received contributions from any voter anywhere in the country, or that he would gain support or contributions if Trump could not appear on the ballot.”

The lawsuit is one of “at least 27” Castro has filed nationwide, the judge noted.

A Rhode Island federal judge similarly tossed one of Castro’s lawsuits seeking to remove Trump from the state’s ballot on Nov. 27, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that Castro lacked standing to bring his New Hampshire lawsuit.

The Supreme Court declined in October to hear an appeal to a case Castro filed in Florida.

Katelynn Richardson on December 6, 2023

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