Gavin Newsom's Team Forgot to List Him As a Democrat on Recall Ballot

Democrat Gavin Newsom is suing California Secretary of State Shirley Weber in an effort to include his party affiliation on the ballot for the state's upcoming recall election.

The California governor's office was officially notified about the recall election on February 28, but Newsom's elections attorney failed to list him as a Democrat in his answer to the notice, according to KTXL.

Newsom tried to file his party preference in a notice on June 19 but the secretary of state refused to accept it. Newsom's elections attorney failed to include his party preference in the initial filing citing "an inadvertent but good faith mistake."

The lawsuit, filed on Monday, seeks to require all recall ballots "to include either next to or below" Newsom's name, the words: "Party Preference: Democratic."

It argues that including Newsom's party will "ensure that voters are able to make a more informed choice when deciding how to vote in the upcoming recall election."

Previously, office holders facing recall elections in California did not have their party affiliation listed on the ballot. This was the case when Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, was successfully recalled in 2003.

However, the law was changed in 2019 following the recall of a Democratic state senator, according to Courthouse News. Newsom was governor at the time and agreed to the change that would provide more information on the ballot.

Newsom's lawsuit argued: "The voters would be deprived of the very information the Legislature has deemed important for them to receive, all because the governor's counsel inadvertently failed to file a form about the governor's ballot designation at least 16 months before the recall election has been called."

Newsom is facing a recall election after campaigners garnered more than 1.7 million valid signatures. Just 43 Californians removed their signatures during the withdrawal period, while just 1,495,709 verified signatures were needed to trigger a recall.

No date has yet been set for the election, which will see voters asked if they want to remove Newsom from office. He will only lose office if 50 percent of voters agree. Californians will also be asked who should replace Newsom if he is successfully recalled.

The Democrat has painted the recall campaign as a partisan Republican effort.

"This Republican recall threatens our values and seeks to undo the important progress we've made—from fighting COVID, to helping struggling families, protecting our environment, and passing common-sense gun violence solutions," Newsom said on April 27.

Newsweek has asked Gavin Newsom's office for comment.

Governor Gavin Newsom Gives a Press Conference
California Governor Gavin Newsom attends California Governor Gavin Newsom's press conference for the official reopening of the state of California at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 15, 2021 in Universal City, California. Newsom is suing to have his party affiliation included on the recall election ballot. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images