By Michael R. Blood | Originally Posted on AP News
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is suing over a decision by California election officials to block him from running in the September recall election that could oust Gov. Gavin Newsom, saying he’s the target of political “shenanigans” by Democrats.
The Republican said in a statement late Monday that he filed all the necessary paperwork to qualify for a slot on the ballot, including over 300 pages of tax returns that are required to become a candidate. But the secretary of state’s office did not include Elder on a preliminary list of 41 candidates last weekend, saying he filed incomplete information on those returns.
Elder’s campaign said he sued Monday, seeking an order from a court in Sacramento that would require Secretary of State Shirley Weber to list Elder as a candidate on the final certified list of candidates, scheduled to be issued Wednesday.
“We’ve complied with everything the secretary of state has required of us,” said Elder, a popular voice on the political right whose show is nationally syndicated. “The politicians in Sacramento know I’m the only candidate who can beat Gavin Newsom. They are afraid, and they are using whatever shenanigans they can to try to trip me up. It won’t work.”
“Frankly, this action by the secretary of state is not simply unfair and absurd but a dangerous and unconstitutional precedent,” said Elder, who also is an attorney.
Meanwhile, the secretary of state’s office on Tuesday added another name to the list, making it 42 replacement candidates in the Sept. 14 contest. It wasn’t immediately clear why Democrat Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato was a late addition.
If Elder fails to make the ballot, it would be a setback for recall organizers who hoped for a large field of prominent candidates to attract voters. When Elder announced his candidacy last week, he immediately became one of the most recognized Republicans in the race, given his years on talk radio and frequent appearances on Fox News.