- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Democrat Martin O’Malley has failed to qualify as a write-in candidate for Ohio’s presidential primary after he missed a deadline to file the paperwork, a spokesman for the state’s elections chief said Wednesday.

The former Maryland governor previously fell short of the signatures required for his name to appear on the March 15 primary ballot. He then sought to be a write-in candidate but missed the deadline of 4 p.m. Monday to file a declaration of intent with Ohio’s secretary of state.

The office received O’Malley’s paperwork at about 8 a.m. Tuesday, Josh Eck, a spokesman for Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, told The Associated Press.

O’Malley has no way under state law to appeal.

“The code says that’s the deadline,” Eck said. “It doesn’t give us any leeway on this.”

Messages seeking comment were left with an O’Malley spokeswoman.

Last week, O’Malley’s campaign expressed disappointment in falling short of the state’s signature requirement and said the White House hopeful would campaign vigorously in Ohio.

But had O’Malley’s paperwork been filed on time, his write-in status could have been challenged for failing to comply with his party’s nominating rules, according to Husted’s office. Those nominating rules do not include write-in candidates.

O’Malley is running an underdog bid for his party’s nomination against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Both Clinton and Sanders were certified for Ohio’s presidential primary ballot, along with a little-known candidate, San Diego businessman Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente.

Clinton already has the support of some key Democratic insiders in Ohio, where she won the 2008 primary over President Barack Obama.


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