RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – A federal judge has ordered elections officials to place the North Carolina Green Party’s U.S. Senate candidate on the November ballot despite Democrats’ repeated attempts to block the progressive party from spoiling one of their best shots at flipping a seat in the narrowly divided chamber.

U.S. District Judge James Dever III on Friday prohibited the elections board from enforcing a July 1 candidate filing deadline to keep the Green Party’s Senate nominee, Matthew Hoh, off the ballot in North Carolina.

Democrats have warned Hoh’s appearance on the ballot could divide progressive voters and lead to a GOP victory in the tight Senate race between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Rep. Tedd Budd.

On Monday, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted to recognize the Green Party, clearing the next hurdle for it to be on the fall ballot. 

Prior to Monday’s vote, the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a brief with the courts saying they support the Green Party’s Emergency Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.

Following the Monday vote, the North Carolina Democratic Party announced it will file a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court to “protect the integrity of the North Carolina political process.”