Minnesota Democrats put foreign-born candidate on presidential primary ballot

Meanwhile, Democrats have engaged in a coordinated, nationwide effort to prevent former President Donald Trump from obtaining ballot access.

Cenk Uygur speaking at the 2016 Politicon at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Minnesota Democrats placed an ineligible, foreign-born candidate on the state’s presidential primary ballot.

Ken Martin, the chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, submitted a list of presidential candidates to the Minnesota Secretary of State on Dec. 13. Among those candidates was Cenk Uygur, a left-wing, Turkish-born political commentator who is ineligible to be president of the United States.

The founder of a leftist web show called “The Young Turks,” Uygur is running his 2024 presidential campaign on a pro-abortion and pro-ceasefire platform. However, Uygur is ineligible to serve as president under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America. The section reads, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

Uygur was born in Turkey to Turkish parents before his family emigrated to the United States and became citizens. Many states, including Arkansas, New Hampshire, Nevada, and others, have denied Uygur’s attempts to appear on the ballot given his foreign-born status.

Minnesota’s presidential primary is March 5. However, state law allows voters to cast early ballots in the presidential primary starting Jan. 19. As such, Minnesotans may already be voting for a candidate who is constitutionally ineligible to be president of the United States.

In a statement to MinnPost on his decision to include Uygur on the ballot, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said, “Our lawyers advised us that it was better to allow candidates to appear on our primary ballot until a court determines that they are ineligible.”

Martin further defended his inclusion of Uygur saying, “We also believe in erring on the side of ballot access.”

However, Democrats have engaged in a coordinated, nationwide effort to prevent former President Donald Trump from obtaining ballot access. In Colorado, the state Supreme Court ruled that Trump was ineligible to appear on the state presidential primary ballot; every member of Colorado’s Supreme Court was appointed by Democrats. In Maine, the Democrat Secretary of State unilaterally decided to exclude Trump from the state’s primary ballot.

Attempts to remove Trump from the ballot are currently ongoing in 18 states. The Supreme Court of the United States is poised to hear oral arguments regarding Trump’s ballot eligibility this week. The high court’s ruling is expected to settle the topic once and for all.

Prior to his presidential campaign, Uygur ran for a vacant California seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020. Losing in both a special election and November general election for the seat, Uygur did not get more than 7% of the vote in either election.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.