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Sec. of State Certifies Candidates for March Primary, Including Trump

Antonio Ray Harvey | California Black Media 

Dr. Shirley N. Weber, the California Secretary of State, has certified a list of 20 candidates, including former Pres. Donald Trump, for the state’s presidential primary election scheduled for March 5, 2024.

Weber made the decision on Dec. 28 to certify Trump despite calls from a number of prominent Democrats, including California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, to disqualify him.

They cite the former president’s actions and inactions during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as a violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which should disqualify him from public office. 

Responding to Kounalakis, Weber emphasized that removing a presidential candidate is a matter of public interest and must be handled within legal parameters and in the best interests of all California voters. 

“It is incumbent upon my office to ensure that any action undertaken regarding any candidate’s inclusion or omission from our ballots be grounded firmly in the laws and processes in place in California and our Constitution,” Weber stated. 

So far, Trump’s quest to run for the presidency has been blocked by two states, Maine and Colorado. Appeals of the decisions in both states are expected to be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. 

In a letter to Weber dated Dec. 20, Kounalakis urged the Secretary of State “to explore every legal option” to remove Trump from California’s 2024 presidential primary ballot following the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling in Anderson v. Griswold. 

“I am prompted by the Colorado Supreme Court’s recent ruling that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot as a Presidential Candidate due to his role in inciting an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Kounalakis wrote. “This decision is about honoring the rule of law in our country and protecting the fundamental pillars of our democracy.” 

Weber wrote back to Kounalakis, saying that she is guided by her “commitment to follow the rule of law.” 

“As California’s Chief Elections Officer, I am a steward of free and fair elections and the Democratic process,” wrote Weber. “I must place the sanctity of these elections above partisan politics. As you may not be aware, my office has been engaged in multiple lawsuits regarding the former president’s appearance on the ballot.” 

Weber also acknowledged the complicated nature of the issue and her decision regarding it. 

“We can agree that the attack of the capitol and the former presidents’ involvement was abhorrent, there are complex legal issues surrounding this matter,” she added.

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