MACHIAS (AP) — A Maine judge has ruled that a 2009 lawsuit filed by former independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his 2004 Maine electors against the Democratic Party and several of its allies will proceed toward trial.

Washington County Superior Court Justice Kevin Cuddy last week denied a motion to dismiss the suit against the Maine Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee and other groups

Cuddy had dismissed Nader’s lawsuit in November 2010, but the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in April threw out the dismissal.

The longtime consumer advocate claims that Democratic leaders used illegal tactics to try to keep him off the 2004 presidential ballot in Maine and more than a dozen other states. Nader appeared on the ballots in 34 states in the election won by Republican George W. Bush.

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