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GOP may consider adding Fisher to ballot

Members of the Republican state committee say a lawsuit by gubernatorial candidate Mark Fisher is dividing the party.

Chelsea Diana/Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, via AP

Members of the Republican state committee say a lawsuit by gubernatorial candidate Mark Fisher is dividing the party.

Members of the Republican state committee — some of them Charlie Baker supporters — are calling for a special meeting to discuss putting gubernatorial candidate Mark Fisher’s name on the ballot in an effort to resolve a lawsuit that is causing rancor within the party.

Gordon C. Andrews, a state committee member from Halifax, circulated a petition by email Wednesday evening asking his fellow state committee members to sign onto a request for a special meeting. Despite the effort, Andrews noted in his message that he supports party nominee Charlie Baker in the race for governor.

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Fisher has sued the Massachusetts State Committee in Suffolk Superior Court challenging the accuracy of the vote that edged him out of qualification to run for governor at the party’s convention and made Baker the lone candidate on the September primary ballot.

Andrews could not be reached for comment Wednesday, however, two other state committee members said they have been discussing ways to resolve the process and would sign on to the request.

Brock Cordeiro, a state committeeman and a Baker supporter from Dartmouth, said the negative publicity from the disputed convention is casting a “dark cloud” over the election season.

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“We should be marching forward together, not fighting each other in some sort of civil war,” he said.

He also noted that he, and the other elected members of the state committee, are defendants to Fisher’s lawsuit who have a stake in its outcome.

“As one of the state committee members, I do see it as wanting to play as active a role as possible in the process of resolving this impasse,” he said.

As for Baker, campaign spokesman Tim Buckley said that the GOP nominee “hopes for the fairest and quickest possible outcome to this issue. And if that outcome is a primary, then he welcomes it.”

Under party bylaws, a special meeting can be triggered by the request of 30 members of the 80-member state committee. The meeting would have to be scheduled within 30 days.

A spokeswoman for the party, Emmalee Kalmbach, said the party was not yet aware of the petition early Wednesday night.

Fisher faces a tight time frame with his effort to get his name on the September ballot. In addition to getting the certification of his political party, he needs to submit 10,000 signatures from Massachusetts voters to local election officials by next week.

A judge has scheduled a June trial date for his lawsuit, which claims the GOP violated its own policies at the March convention to disqualify him from the September primary ballot.

Stephanie Ebbert can be reached at Stephanie.Ebbert@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @StephanieEbbert
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