The U.S. state of California has decided to keep former President Donald Trump on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, despite mounting pressure for declaring him ineligible to run for president in the state.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber published the list of certified candidates for the state’s March 5 presidential primary election late Thursday, which included Trump’s name.
Several elected officials in California, including Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, have been calling for Trump’s disqualification for his controversial role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Kounalakis sent a letter to Weber last week, urging her to “explore every legal option” to keep Trump off. Weber pushed back on Kounalakis’ letter, citing “complex legal issues surrounding this matter” and a commitment to “safeguarding elections in a way that transcends political divisions.”
Weber said that her office had been engaged in multiple lawsuits regarding Trump’s appearance on the ballot.
California Governor Gavin Newsom echoed Weber’s concerns, urging caution and saying “in California, we defeat candidates at the polls. Everything else is a political distraction.”
Also on Thursday, Maine disqualified Trump from the state ballot in next year’s U.S. presidential primary election, becoming the second state that attempted to bar the former president for his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
As the decision can be appealed to a state superior court, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has suspended her decision until the court rules on the matter.
Colorado is the first state trying to ban Trump from the ballot after the state’s Supreme Court ruled on Dec. 19 that Trump was ineligible for the presidency.
The Colorado Republican Party on Wednesday appealed the state’s decision. This puts the ruling on pause until Jan. 4, 2024, the day before the state’s primary ballots are due at the printer, or until an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is concluded.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold confirmed Thursday that Trump’s name will remain on the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot unless the nation’s highest court upholds the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling against him.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected an attempt to remove Trump from the state’s primary ballot for alleged involvement in the 2021 attack.
Besides Michigan, similar challenges against Trump filed in multiple U.S. states have already been dismissed. ■