Sanders declares as a Democrat in New Hampshire primary

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, lower left, talks with New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner after filing papers to be on the nation's earliest presidential primary ballot, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, at The Secretary of State's office in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t facing a challenge from New Hampshire’s secretary of state over his eligibility to run in the state’s Democratic presidential primary.

The state’s paperwork to get on the ballot for the February primary requires a candidate to declare as a registered member of whichever party he or she is seeking the nomination. Sanders, a long-time Independent, declared himself a Democrat while filing on Thursday.

Sanders says he’ll run as a Democrat in future elections.

He says, “I am running as a Democrat obviously, I am a Democrat now.”

Although Secretary of State Bill Gardner is not disputing Sanders’ eligibility, someone could file a challenge with the state’s ballot law commission.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is supporting Sanders’ right to run in their primary, with chairman Ray Buckley joining Sanders for the filing.

Sanders is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee and caucuses with Democrats.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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