There are now 43 candidates in California's recall election, after a judge ruled on Wednesday that conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder can be put on the ballot.
Voters will decide on Sept. 14 whether Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) should remain in office or be replaced by one of the recall candidates. On his show last week, Elder announced that he was going to run for governor, and on the Friday deadline, submitted his paperwork and five years of tax returns. The secretary of state's office released a list of candidates on Saturday night, and Elder was not one of them; the office later told his campaign Elder's tax returns were either incomplete or not submitted correctly, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Under a 2019 law, anyone running for state office in California must file their tax returns in order to be put on a primary ballot, and Elder sued the secretary of state, saying this should not be a requirement for a recall election. Judge Laurie M. Earl ruled in his favor on Wednesday, saying, "I don't find Mr. Elder was required to file tax returns at all."
Another candidate, Kevin Faulconer, was not as lucky. The secretary of state's office said he cannot be listed on official election paperwork as "retired San Diego mayor," because he is now working at Pepperdine University as a guest lecturer and business consultant. The secretary of state's office said Faulconer should be listed as "businessman/educator," and the California Democratic Party said it was misleading for Faulconer to be referred to as "retired," since he is still working.
Judge Shellyanne Chang agreed, and Faulconer will not be described on the paperwork as "retired San Diego mayor." His campaign said voters have "a right to transparent and accurate information about Mayor Faulconer's record" and the "decision defies common sense."