LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal appeals court has dismissed the appeal of a Tennessee lawyer who was denied Arkansas delegates despite winning 42 percent of the vote in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed John Wolfe’s appeal on Wednesday, the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected.
The court says Wolfe didn’t respond to an order last month.
Wolfe filed a notice of appeal in federal court last month after a federal judge dismissed his lawsuit against the Arkansas Democratic Party.
The judge said Wolfe couldn’t prove that the state party violated his rights when it refused to award him any delegates.
The party says Wolfe didn’t follow party rules.
Wolfe didn’t respond to a phone message left Wednesday.
John Wolfe Jr. filed suit in Federal District Court in Little Rock, Ark., Friday afternoon against the Arkansas Democratic Party claiming its refusal to grant him the delegates he won Tuesday in a binding presidential primary “effectively disenfranchises each of the 67,604 voters who cast a vote for Wolfe.”
More from the New Orleans Times-Picayune: Wolfe, a Chattanooga attorney who won 42 percent in a head-to-head contest against President Barack Obama, also claims in his lawsuit that the announcement by the Arkansas Democratic Party in advance of the primary that it would not grant him any delegates no matter how well he did in the voting was “a purposeful attempt to tamp down voter enthusiasm for Wolfe in order to ensure a primary victory for Barack Obama,” and amounted to “a callous interference in the electoral process” and a “deliberate violation” of Wolfe’s due process rights.
Wolfe said he plans to file a similar suit against the Louisiana Democratic Party for its failure to grant him his proportional share of the delegates in the three congressional districts in which he won more than 15 percent of the vote Louisiana’s March 24 Democratic primary.
In Kentucky’s closed primary, about 42 percent of registered Democrats who voted selected “uncommitted.” In Arkansas’ open primary, voters could select a ballot for either party, and unofficial returns showed a Tennessee attorney, John Wolfe, drawing almost 42 percent on the Democratic side.
On the Republican side, Romney won Arkansas with 68 percent of the vote and Kentucky with 67 percent, according to unofficial returns.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were on the ballot in both states. Santorum and Gingrich have both suspended their campaigns. Paul announced last week that he would no longer compete in the primaries, though he is still trying to amass national delegates at state conventions.
— Note: Wolfe, who lives in Chattanooga and has run unsuccessfully for various offices in Tennessee (including the 3rd Congressional District seat), got just seven write-in votes in Tennessee’s March 6 presidential primary. President Obama, the only candidate on the Democratic ballot, got 80,705 votes while 10,497, or 13 percent, voted “uncommitted.”
See also the Chattanooga Times-Free Press story on Wolfe’s Arkansas showing, written before the final results were in. Wolfe said Tuesday the voters should pick their candidate, not party bosses.
“They are treating this election like the coronation of a king, but this country declared war on that kind of monarchy rule in 1776,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe ran unsuccessfully for Congress four times in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District and also lost in his bids for Chattanooga mayor and state senator from Chattanooga. His campaigns are largely self-financed, and he said he has had to continue his law practice in Chattanooga while campaigning in presidential primaries in New Hampshire, Louisiana, Arkansas and, next week, in Texas.
“I’m like David fighting Goliaths in these races, but so far I haven’t found the right pebble [to strike down Goliath],” Wolfe said. “I know a lot of people don’t like what the president has done, including me.”
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Tennessee lawyer who finished a distant second to President Barack Obama in Louisiana’s Democratic primary in March won’t get any Louisiana delegates to the party’s national convention.
The state Democratic Party says John Wolfe failed to comply with the party’s delegate selection plan. He missed deadlines to certify an authorized representative for his campaign in the state and to provide a necessary statement of participation to the state party.
Wolfe got almost 12 percent of the statewide vote. Analysts said he would have earned an estimated three delegates, based on his totals in some congressional districts. Louisiana would have been one of the only states where Democratic delegates would have gone to an Obama opponent.
Wolfe didn’t return a call placed to his Chattanooga phone number Monday.
Louisiana sends 71 delegates to the national convention. Sixty-four will be pledged to Obama. Seven “super delegates” are uncommitted but they include prominent state party leaders, including chairman Buddy Leach and U. S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who are considered certain to support Obama.
Wolfe was one of three little-known challengers to Obama on the March 24 ballot. Wolfe, on his campaign website, says Obama is too cozy with Wall Street and corporate interests and says corporate tax rates are too low.
— Note: Wolfe was the Democratic nominee against Chuck Fleischmann in the 2010 3rd Congressional District election He had previously run unsuccessfully for various other offices, including the Tennessee state Senate and Chattanooga mayor. He was also on the presidential ballot in New Hampshire earlier this year.