Judge Blocks Newsom Listing Himself as Democrat on Recall Election Ballot
California Governor Gavin Newsom will not be able to put his Democratic Party affiliation
A judge has blocked California's Democrat governor, Gavin Newsom, from being able to put his Democratic Party affiliation on the ballot in the upcoming recall election.
The state's recall race is set for September 14, when voters will decide if they want to remove and replace him with a new governor.
Gov. Newsom missed the deadline to submit his party affiliation for the election.
Last month, in an effort to add it to the ballot, Newsom sued California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who he appointed to the position.
This week, however, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge James Arguelles ruled that Newsom would not be permitted to add his party affiliation.
Judge Arguelles noted that the deadline requirement was part of legislation that Newsom actually approved in 2019 during his tenure as governor.
Last month, Newsom filed a 25-page lawsuit to challenge that requirement, claiming that it is unnecessary to bar him from putting his party affiliation on the ballot.
"As long as the fundamental purposes underlying the applicable constitutional or statutory requirements have been fulfilled, there is compliance with the applicable statute," the lawsuit reads.
Newsom's elections attorney, Thomas Willis, and an attorney for Weber argued during an hour-long hearing on Friday that Newsom made a harmless mistake and it is in voter's best interest to know his party affiliation.
They added that election officials still have enough time to add Newsom's party to the ballot considering eligible candidates have until July 16 to enter the race.
"The court has sufficient time to act before the recall ballot is finalized," the lawsuit reads.
Republicans slammed Newsom as trying to avert the rules everybody else has to follow.
"At base, this comes down to whether the governor of California has to follow the unambiguous law — and it just so happens, a law that he signed," said attorney Eric Early, who represents key leaders of the recall, such as Orrin Heatlie, Mike Netter and the California Patriot Coalition.
Early hailed Arguelles' ruling and said, "He followed the law, and that's all we can ask for.
"No one is above the law, and this ruling makes clear that includes Gavin Newsom."
Newsom campaign spokesman Nathan Click did not respond directly to the ruling, but said that Newsom would defeat the recall that he called a "Republican power grab."
Bids for recall elections are not rare in California, though they don't often make it to the ballot. Only one governor was ousted in a recall, when Democrat Gray Davis was replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.
There are dozens of candidates expected and it´s possible that a candidate could win with only 20 to 30percent of the vote.
The most recent candidate to join the race is conservative radio talk show host Larry Edler.
He announced Monday that he would be joining the slate of candidates that also includes Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, former Republican Doug Ose, billboard model Angelyne, Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and Ric Grenell, who served as President Trump's acting director of national intelligence.
Elder, 69, told the Associated Press that he initially was reluctant to become a candidate in a state where Democrats hold a lopsided grip on power in Sacramento.
But a number of his Republican peers, including fellow conservative radio host Dennis Prager, encouraged him to run.
Elder, who is black, writes on his website that he is "unafraid to take on liberals and the Black Lives Matter movement" and that his political beliefs include "returning to the bedrock Constitutional principles of limited government and maximum personal responsibility."
Some Newsom supporters claimed that the recall is being led by far-right extremists and white nationalists, to which Edler said, "Do I look like a white nationalist?"
The election is set for Sept. 14, though voters will receive ballots earlier by mail.
The ballot had two parts, one that asks voters if they want to remove Newsom from office and the next asking which candidate should replace him.
The votes for his replacement will only be counted if more than half of voters say "yes" to the first question.