- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 16, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida is hearing arguments over a longstanding state law that reserves the top slot of next year’s presidential ballot for the party of the state’s governor.

That means top billing would go to President Donald Trump, unless he faces a successful Republican primary challenge, because Gov. Ron DeSantis is a Republican.

The Democratic National Committee’s legal challenge underscores how crucial Florida is in its bid to retake the White House.

In hearings that began Monday in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee, Democrats contend that a 1951 law gives Trump unfair advantage in a state with a history of high-profile races decided by razor-thin margins.

Republicans counter that the lawsuit reflects sour grapes after a string of Democratic losses, including Trump’s 2016 victory and last year’s races for governor and the U.S. Senate.

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