Although California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis wants to “explore every legal option” to remove Donald Trump from the state’s ballot, Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized the move.

Newsom called efforts to remove Trump from California’s ballot a “political distraction.”

“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.

POLITICO reports:

His remarks threw cold water on numerous attempts by elected officials to seize on the Colorado decision.


Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who is running for governor in 2026, issued a letter urging California Secretary of State Shirley Weber to “explore every legal option” to remove Trump from the ballot. Democratic state Sen. Dave Min, an Orange County congressional candidate, 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.

Months before the Colorado ruling was handed down, a group of Democratic state legislators urged California Attorney General Rob Bonta to use his powers to expedite a ruling on whether Trump was ineligible to appear on the ballot.

There has been a sprawling nationwide legal strategy to bar Trump from eligibility given his role on Jan. 6. The Colorado decision, the first in history to disqualify a presidential candidate under the 14th Amendment, immediately prompted some proponents to fast-track their efforts.

From The Hill:

Like Newsom, activists and other Democrats have shown caution around the recent Colorado ruling.

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who is challenging Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, said that it is “wrong” to keep Trump from the ballot.

“Do I believe Trump is guilty of inspiring an insurrection and doing nothing to stop it? I was there. Absolutely,” Phillips wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Do I believe it’s wrong to ban him from the ballot in Colorado without a conviction? Absolutely. Do I believe the SCOTUS must opine immediately? Absolutely.”

The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling is on hold until January 4th so Donald Trump can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Trump campaign called the ruling “a completely flawed decision.”

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