In a move that defies calls to remove former President Donald Trump from California’s 2024 presidential primary ballot, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber has decided to include Trump in the state’s ballot.
California Democrat secretary of state to allow Trump on GOP presidential primary ballot: 'I must be better' https://t.co/V0WdPTfCzL
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According to her, allowing Trump appear on the state’s primary ballot would be following the rule of law even though she finds his actions “abhorrent and disturbing and an attack on democracy.”
For her, her move makes her better than Trump.
“But at the same time, if I believe in this democracy that is there, I have to basically continue to abide by the rule of law, and for me not to do that, then I am no better than Trump. And I must be better than Trump,” she said, speaking to The Los Angeles Times.
Weber’s decision comes after Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis wrote her a letter on Dec. 20, asking her to “explore every legal option to remove former President Donald Trump from California’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.”
“The constitution is clear: you must be 40 years old and not be an insurrectionist,” she added.
While Weber admitted that her office tried to find legal grounds to remove Trump from the state’s primary ballot, she stated that she and other state and local officials agreed that the state’s constitution does not give her authority to exclude Trump from the ballot.
Weber responded to Kounalakis’ letter, explaining that she believes in upholding the “sanctity” of democracy over “partisan politics.”
“As California’s chief elections officer, I am the steward of free and fair elections and the democratic process. I must place the sanctity of these elections above partisan politics,” she wrote.
She also took issue with Kounalakis’ push for her use “every means possible” to find a legal basis for removing Trump from the state’s primary ballot, something she said her office had done already.
“I’m not sure why the lieutenant governor says, ‘Use every means possible,’ because we have been doing that. I haven’t shared that information with her, because she hasn’t asked me,” Weber stated.
Weber’s decision is in line with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s opinion on the issue, as he spoke against Kounalakis’ idea last week.
“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our liberties and even to our democracy. But in California, we defeat candidates at the polls. Everything else is a political distraction,” he said.