California Secretary of State Shirley Weber has released the official list of certified candidates for the state’s upcoming primary, and Donald Trump’s name is included.
Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a Democrat, asked Newsom-appointee Weber to “explore every legal option” to keep Trump off the ballot on December 20, specifically referencing the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove Trump from that state’s ballot.
Weber had already been asked by Democrats in the California Assembly earlier in the year to “explore every legal option” to keep Trump off the primary ballot, but, after the Colorado decision, Kounalakis decided to try her hand. On December 22 Weber replied to Kounalakis’ letter, and while she slammed Trump she also low-key slammed Kounalakis, who claimed in her original letter to Weber that a candidate for president must be at least 40 years old. Weber said her decision would not be based on politics but on her “commitment to follow the rule of law.”
“The former President’s conduct tainted and continues to sow the public’s mistrust in government and the legitimacy of elections, so it is more critical than ever to safeguard elections in a way that transcends political divisions.
“Removing a candidate from the ballot under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment is not something my office takes lightly and is not as simple as the requirement that a person be at least 35 years old to be president.
“I am guided by my commitment to follow the rule of law. Our commitment to and respect for the rule of law has, and will continue to guide, our course in this matter. Adherence to this fundamental principle — so essential in our democracy — even in the face of public pressure, will help inspire confidence in our elections and our election processes.”
….[I] n a Friday afternoon statement, Newsom telegraphed to his fellow California Democrats not to get ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court, which will almost certainly be the final arbiter of that decision.
“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our liberties and even to our democracy,” Newsom said, “but in California, we defeat candidates at the polls. Everything else is a political distraction.”
California’s primary will be held on March 5, 2024.