California Secretary of State Shirley Weber declined to remove Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot.
Weber dismissed calls from California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis to “explore every legal option” to remove Trump from the ballot.
“I am prompted by the Colorado Supreme Court’s recent ruling that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot as a Presidential Candidate due to his role in inciting an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This decision is about honoring the rule of law in our country,” Kounalakis wrote.
Read the full letter:
Weber released a list of certified candidates to run in the state's presidential primary, which included President Trump.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber has opted to leave former President Donald Trump's name on the state's presidential primary ballot, despite calls from the state's lieutenant governor to remove him. https://t.co/WcwBBSwdHu pic.twitter.com/vmbbQAo9a3
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 29, 2023
Weber’s release of the list of candidates Thursday evening means Trump will appear on the ballot in California’s presidential primary on March 5. Weber’s decision came the same day that Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows declared him ineligible to run for president because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress, and a week after Colorado’s Supreme Court reached the same conclusion.
Several elected Democrats had tried to remove him from the California ballot, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who sent Weber a letter last week urging her to “explore every legal option” to keep him off. Weber had pushed back on Kounalakis’ letter, telling her that “it is more critical than ever to safeguard elections in a way that transcends political divisions.”
Democratic state Sen. Dave Min, an Orange County congressional candidate, had said he would introduce a bill letting California residents sue to block ineligible candidates — although given the legislative calendar, it is all but impossible for such a measure to be passed and take effect in time to apply to the March 5 presidential primary.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized efforts to remove Donald Trump from the ballot.
“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our liberties and even to our democracy,” Newsom said in a statement.
“But in California, we defeat candidates at the polls. Everything else is a political distraction,” he added.
From The Hill:
Just over a week after the Colorado ruling, which is on hold until Jan. 4 so Trump can seek review with the U.S. Supreme Court, Maine’s secretary of state said Thursday that the former president was ineligible to be on the state’s ballot.
Maine’s decision marks the first time a state official has removed a presidential candidate via the 14th Amendment. As in the Colorado ruling, the Maine secretary of state found that Trump participated in an insurrection due to his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Weber did not release a statement alongside the list of candidates to appear on the ballot in California.