Judge Rules Newsom Can’t Label Himself a Democrat on Recall Ballot


OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion

California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom just got slapped with more bad news in his fight against a recall effort.

Judge James P. Arguelles has ruled that Newsom will not be able to label himself a “Democrat” on the recall ballot this September after his team made a filing error and omitted his party preference.

In other words, Newsom’s team forgot to state on the paperwork that he wanted to be listed as a Democrat.


Newsom’s team sued the California Secretary of State so that he could correct the error.

California is arguably the most liberal state in America, so Newsom being able to identify as a Democrat is crucial.

Arguelles denied Newsom’s request and held that the recall election will take place on September 14, 2021.


“Governor Newsom argues that unique circumstances attending his untimely party designation support an order excusing the noncompliance,” Arguelles wrote, adding that “the court is not persuaded.”

Politico reported:

Newsom’s team had scrambled to correct an error that will now deprive him of his party preference on ballots for the Sept. 14 recall. Newsom sued Secretary of State Shirley Weber in late June, arguing that the law imposes a needlessly early deadline for recall targets to request their party designation and that voters deserve to see that information.

After hearing arguments Friday, however, Judge James P. Arguelles ruled late Monday against Newsom. Arguelles had already played an instrumental role in the recall by granting proponents four additional months to gather signatures — an extension that ultimately coincided with the worst months of the pandemic in California.

Arguelles disagreed with an argument from Newsom’s attorney that party status was a vital piece of information for voters, writing that the law offered candidates “discretion to inform recall voters about their party preferences, as opposed to imposing a requirement that voters be so informed.” Arguelles rejected the notion a “good faith error” on Newsom’s part should spare him.

Attorneys representing the group behind the recall petition mocked Newsom following the judge’s ruling.

“At base, this comes down to whether the governor of California has to follow the unambiguous law, and it just so happens a law he signed,” recall proponents’ attorney Eric Early argued. “This may be a bitter pill for the governor to swallow, but swallow it he must.”


The California Democratic Party, which has spent around $1.5 million against the recall effort, claimed they were undeterred by Arguelles’ decision.

“Today’s ruling doesn’t change the facts: California Democrats are united behind Governor @GavinNewsom,” the party said in a tweet. “We’re ready to organize to beat the Republican Recall attempt.”

Newsom is now closer than ever before to possibly being removed from his seat.

Organizers for “Recall Gavin 2020” gathered well over the necessary 1.5 million petition signatures, which gives Californians the chance to vote Newsom out of office.


Newsom has imposed some of the most drastic restrictions in the entire nation in terms of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and restrictions on businesses, all of which have done little to mitigate the spread of the virus which continues to ravage densely populated areas in the Golden State.

Newsom’s misfortune comes at the same time that a fellow Democrat failure on the opposite end of the country, Andrew Cuomo, is also in big-time trouble.

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