Judge Rules Conservative Larry Elder Will Be on Ballot for California Recall Election

State   |   Rebecca Downs   |   Jul 22, 2021   |   10:20AM   |   Sacramento, California

Last week, Salem Radio Host Larry Elder made it official that he was running to challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) in the California recall election slated for September 14. Not long after, however, the California Secretary of State said he didn’t qualify to be on the ballot. After saying he would sue over “these shenanigans,” Elder delivered on that promise and a judge on Wednesday ruled in his favor, Jeremy B. White reported for POLITICO.

As White wrote:

At issue were the tax filings Elder had submitted to California elections officials in his bid to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom. Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s office said the documents Elder shared were improperly redacted. Elder went to court to fight back, and his case landed in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurie Earl just hours before Weber was set to certify the final list of candidates.

While Elder was one of the last Republican contenders to jump into the Newsom recall race, he quickly attracted national attention and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. That strong start demonstrated his preexisting base and wide name recognition, but Elder was at risk of having to refund the money if he was blocked from the ballot.

Not only did Judge Earl rule in Elder’s favor, but in doing so he pointed out that Elder shouldn’t have needed to provide tax returns at all, since this was a recall election and not a primary election.

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White also wrote:

In addition to ruling that Weber must place Elder on recall ballots, Earl also rejected Weber’s conclusion that recall candidates are covered by the 2019 state law compelling gubernatorial candidates in a “direct primary election” to release tax returns.

“I don’t find that Mr. Elder was required to file tax returns at all,” Earl said.

The upcoming recall election is a special contest, not a direct primary. Nevertheless, Weber determined that the law should apply this time because it was intended to allow the public to vet gubernatorial hopefuls. Newsom’s campaign team asserted a similar interpretation in May when it gave reporters 90 minutes to review the governor’s 2019 tax returns.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Superior Court of California, our friends, volunteers, supporters, and the people of California,” said Elder in a brief statement posted to his campaign website. “We fought the shenanigans of Sacramento’s politicians and we won. If elected governor, I will fight every single day for this state. This is just the beginning.”

Elder tweeted extensively about his candidacy and the ruling on Wednesday, which included a link to an Inside California Politics / Emerson College poll showing that Elder leads the pack of candidate support.

Elder enjoys 16 percent of support from respondents, while John Cox, who ran against Newsom in 2018 and former Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer each have 6 percent. More than half, at 53 percent, are undecided.

In total there are 43 recall candidates.

LifeNews Note: Rebecca Downs writes for TownHall, where this column originally appeared.