Former President Trump will be on California’s March 5 presidential primary ballot, despite calls from some officials to disqualify him because of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Trump’s name was included in the certified list of candidates sent Thursday to county election officials, as they prepare to print ballots for the primary election.
The decision from the office of Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, a Democrat who oversees elections in the state, comes after some officials — including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis — had called on Weber to disqualify Trump from the ballot. Earlier Thursday, Maine’s secretary of state removed Trump from the state’s primary ballot, citing the 14th Amendment, which bans from office those who “engaged in insurrection.”
The Colorado Supreme Court decided in a 4-3 ruling to disqualify Trump from the state’s primary ballot. The Colorado Republican Party has appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which may be the final decider on the issue.
California has 169 GOP delegates, the most of any state in the nation. Polls show Trump holds a wide lead in the primary, with a November UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies survey showing him having support from 57% of likely Republican voters in the state. The California Republican Party changed its rules over the summer, giving anyone who receives more than 50% of the votes in the primary all of the 169 delegates.
In a Dec. 20 letter, Kounalakis urged Weber to “explore every legal option” to remove Trump from the ballot.
“The constitution is clear: you must be 35 years old and not an insurrectionist,” wrote Kounalakis, a Democrat who is running for governor in 2026.
In September, nine California state lawmakers, led by Silicon Valley Democratic Assemblymember Evan Low, wrote to Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, asking his office to ask the court whether Trump can appear on the primary ballot. Bonta as of last week has not responded to the group’s letter.
But Gov. Gavin Newsom last week threw cold water on any push to disqualify Trump from the ballot.
“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our liberties and even to our democracy,” Newsom said in a statement Friday. “But in California, we defeat candidates at the polls. Everything else is a political distraction.”
In her Dec. 22 response to Kounalakis, Weber said removing Trump from the ballot under the 14th Amendment “is not something my office takes lightly and is not as simple as the requirement that a person be at least 35 years old to be president.”
She also noted her office is involved in multiple lawsuits regarding Trump’s appearance on the ballot.
Weber’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.
Times staff writers Noah Bierman and James Rainey and the Associated Press contributed to this report.