Texas court allows Green Party candidates on the ballot

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Gina Hammett, of Hinsdale, N.H., leaves the Millstream Community Center, in Hinsdale, after casting her vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary elections, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for three Green Party candidates to appear on the state’s November ballot, including one running for U.S. Senate, after Democrats sued to remove them over failing to pay filing fees.

The ruling is the latest in a series of court battles nationwide over third-party candidates and ballot access. On Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a Green Party bid that Democrats had feared could hurt Joe Biden in the narrowly divided battleground state.

Texas is also expected to be closer than usual after decades of Republican dominance. The three Green Party candidates include David Collins for U.S. Senate and Tom Wakely, who is running for a U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Chip Roy. His Democratic opponent is Wendy Davis, who is making her first run for office since losing a bid for governor in 2014.

A new Texas law requires third party hopefuls to pay filing fees like Republican and Democratic candidates, but the requirement has been the target of legal challenges.

The Texas Supreme Court, which is made up of nine elected Republicans, rejected a similar lawsuit from GOP candidates earlier this month to kick Libertarian candidates off the ballot.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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