“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our liberties and even to our democracy,” Newsom said, “but in California, we defeat candidates at the polls. Everything else is a political distraction.”
His remarks threw cold water on numerous attempts by elected officials to seize on the Colorado decision.
Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who is running for governor in 2026, issued a letter urging California Secretary of State Shirley Weber to “explore every legal option” to remove Trump from the ballot. Democratic state Sen. Dave Min, an Orange County congressional candidate, said he would introduce a bill letting California residents sue to block ineligible candidates — although given the legislative calendar, it is all but impossible for such a measure to be passed and take effect in time to apply to the March 5 presidential primary.
Months before the Colorado ruling was handed down, a group of Democratic
state legislators urged California Attorney General Rob Bonta to use his powers to expedite a ruling on whether Trump was ineligible to appear on the ballot.
There has been a sprawling nationwide legal strategy to bar Trump from eligibility given his role on Jan. 6. The Colorado decision, the first in history to disqualify a presidential candidate under the 14th Amendment, immediately prompted some proponents to
fast-track their efforts. In Michigan, a group of voters suing to keep Trump off the ballot wrote a letter to their state Supreme Court, using the Colorado decision to argue their case.
In Maine, Shenna Bellows, the Democratic secretary of state who is considering complaints challenging Trump’s eligibility, invited lawyers on both sides to file supplemental briefs in light of the Colorado decision. She is poised to make a decision next week.