California’s Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis is calling for California to follow the lead of Colorado, and kick Donald Trump off the Republican ballot for the state’s coming March 5 state primary.
California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis is not exactly a household name. Yes, she’s the first woman lieutenant governor in California history, she takes over Gavin Newsom’s duties when he’s out of the state, and she was the first to declare that she’s running for Newsom’s job in 2026. And she may be looking to boost her name recognition a bit, with a new gambit where she’s calling for Donald Trump to be disqualified from the 2024 California ballot, according to The Hill, just one day after Colorado disqualified Trump from their own state’s ballot.
This is not Kounalakis’s decision, but she asked California Secretary of State Shirley Weber to remove Trump in a Wednesday letter. “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.”
This comes a day after the Colorado Supreme Court voted to ban Trump from that state’s primary ballot. As the New York Times explains, that ruling cites the Civil War-era 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which “disqualifies people who engage in insurrection against the Constitution after taking an oath to support it.”
The timing puts Secretary of State Weber in an awkward spot. Kounalakis’s letter is dated December 20, the state is scheduled to finalize its Republican primary ballot on December 28. And kicking Trump off the ballot would be a pretty major decision.
The whole debate is probably moot, because the U.S. Supreme Court is all but certain to take up the legality of these individual state ballot bans. And given Trump’s cult-like popularity among Republicans voters, he would probably win the GOP nomination in California even as a write-in candidate.
Image: RENO, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on December 17, 2023 in Reno, Nevada. Former U.S. President Trump held a campaign rally as he battles to become the Republican Presidential nominee for the 2024 Presidential election. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)