July 3, 2022

Judge rules embattled CA Governor must accept filing error failing to specify party preference in recall

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will not be able to list himself as a Democrat in the Sept. 14 recall election, as a California judge rejected an effort to make a correction to his filing papers.

According to Breitbart News, last month “Newsom asked Secretary of State Shirley Weber to grant him lenience after lawyers for the governor failed to list his party preference in responding to the recall, as required by California law.”

Superior Court of Sacramento County Judge James P. Arguelles ruled against Newsom, noting in his opinion “it is clear from both the text and the legislative history that SB 151 does not consider information about an elected officer’s party affiliation so vital to voters that it must be included on the ballot.”

The ruling added, “Moreover, it is worth repeating that Section 11320(c) not only imposes a deadline but commands that a statement of party preference ‘shall not appear on the ballot’ if the officer fails to submit the statement by the time the answer is due.”

Politico reported, “A low-profile 2019 law that Newsom signed allows elected officials who are the targets of recalls to list their party designation. But Newsom’s legal team failed to ask for the governor to take advantage of that option when they responded to the recall petition in February 2020, the formal window to make that request.

“Newsom’s team called the omission unintentional and argued voters would benefit from knowing the governor’s party.”

The issue may seem minor to many, but even a small difference in voting may be critical in the recall election. Newsom will continue to seek every advantage possible to retain his role in the September vote.

Multiple Republican are in line in an effort to fight for the state’s leadership. Under the current recall guidelines, they will have their opportunity in only about two months.

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