Former President Donald Trump will be on California’s March 5 presidential primary ballot, as his name was included in the certified list of candidates sent to county election officials.
Driving the news: Some officials, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, had called for Trump’s disqualification from the ballot due to the January 6 insurrection.
- The decision from Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber’s office, a Democrat who oversees elections in the state, comes despite these calls for disqualification.
- California, with 169 GOP delegates, has the most Republican delegates in the country. Polls show Trump holding a wide lead in the state’s primary, with support from 57% of likely Republican voters.
- Governor Gavin Newsom, however, disagreed with disqualifying Trump and stated that defeating candidates at the polls is the appropriate approach.
The backstory: Other states have taken different actions regarding Trump’s inclusion on primary ballots: Maine’s secretary of state removed him, citing the 14th Amendment, while the Colorado Supreme Court disqualified him, a decision that has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- There have been calls for legal actions to remove Trump from the ballot, including a letter from Lt. Gov. Kounalakis and a request from nine California state lawmakers to the attorney general’s office.
- Secretary of State Weber responded to Lt. Gov. Kounalakis, explaining that removing Trump from the ballot under the 14th Amendment is not a simple matter and that her office is involved in multiple lawsuits regarding Trump’s appearance on the ballot.