By Gerry Tuoti
Posted Jan. 4, 2016 at 5:43 PM
Updated Jan 4, 2016 at 5:48 PM
The countdown to Super Tuesday has begun in earnest since the calendar turned to 2016.
While the state Democratic, Republican and Green-Rainbow parties already submitted their lists of presidential candidates to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office last month, the field will grow by one.
San Diego businessman Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente has qualified for the Massachusetts Democratic Primary ballot by filing 2.573 signatures with Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office, Galvin spokesman Brian McNiff said Monday.
Jan. 4 marked the deadline for presidential candidates to deliver nomination papers ahead of the March 1 Massachusetts Presidential Primary.
Under Massachusetts law, a candidate can qualify for the presidential primary ballot by being designated by their state party’s committee or filing nomination papers with at least 2,500 certified signatures. Additionally, the secretary can place candidates who have been “generally advocated or recognized in the national news media” on the ballot, according to state law.
De La Fuente was the only candidate to qualify for the Massachusetts ballot by filing signatures.
Galvin already held a random draw last month to determine the order candidates will appear on the primary ballot, pending the completion of final filing requirements.
In the Republican primary, Jim Gilmore will appear at the top of the ballot, followed by Lindsey Graham, Donald J. Trump, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John R. Kasich.
Bernie Sanders will appear first on the Democratic primary ballot, followed by Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton. De La Fuente will now be added to the field.
In the Green-Rainbow primary, Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry will appear first on the ballot, followed by Jill Stein, William P. Kreml, Kent Mesplay and Darryl Cherney.
The registration deadline for voters is Feb. 10. Voters registered as independent, or unenrolled, are allowed to vote in any party’s primary under Massachusetts law.
Massachusetts is one of more than a dozen states holding presidential primaries on March 1, known as Super Tuesday.
Early nominating contests elsewhere include the Feb. 1 Iowa Caucuses and the Feb. 9 New Hampshire Presidential Primary.
Gerry Tuoti is the Regional Newsbank Editor for Wicked Local. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 508-967-3137.