California Democratic Governor Cannot Put Political Party On Recall Ballot, Judge Says


California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom cannot identify his political affiliation on the ballot in the upcoming recall election, a judge said on Monday.

State Superior Court Judge James Arguellas rejected Newsom’s request to have his party put on the ballot after failing to identify his political preference before the filing deadline.

Newsom’s lawyers had argued the failure was a mistake, but Arguellas said the wording of a 2019 law signed by Newsom “unambiguously” prohibited party information from appearing on recall ballots when an official “fails to make the appointment in a timely manner”.

Newsom had asked the California Secretary of State to accept the nomination after the deadline, but she declined. The recall vote is scheduled for September 14.

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday evening. A Newsom campaign spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times he would overcome the recall effort, which the spokesperson described as a “Republican takeover.”

“Statewide you see Democrats united behind Governor Newsom,” the spokesperson said.

Newsom will become the second governor in state history to face a recall vote after supporters surpassed the 1.5 million signature threshold in June. Governor Gray Davis was recalled in 2003 and replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Newsom’s challengers include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; Caitlyn Jenner, longtime former Olympian and Republican; and John Cox, a Republican businessman who lost to Newsom in 2018.

CORRECTION (July 12, 2021, 11:30 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the governor’s first name. It’s Gavin Newsom, not Gavon.

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