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Judge Rules That Radio Host Larry Elder Will Appear On The California Recall Ballot

SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) - Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder will be a candidate in California's upcoming recall election that could remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office.

Elder scored a swift court victory in Sacramento, where he challenged a decision by state election officials to block him from the ballot.

Superior Court Judge Laurie M. Earl disagreed with a state decision that Elder failed to meet requirements to file recent tax returns. Forty-two other candidates have been cleared to appear on the Sept. 14 recall ballot.

Elder announced his campaign July 12, but he was blocked from the contest by state election officials who say the filed incomplete federal tax return information that is required to become a candidate. Elder disputed that, saying he's the target of political "shenanigans" by Democrats aligned with Newsom who don't want him on the Sept. 14 ballot.

Elder's case was one of several court scuffles underway as California moves toward finalizing the list of candidates for the election. A preliminary list released Tuesday included 42 candidates.

Elder, a Republican also known for his appearances on Fox News, has said he filed over 300 pages of tax returns with the state.

"I've complied with everything the law requires of me to run in this recall election," Elder tweeted.

The election in the nation's most populous state will be a marquee contest with national implications, watched closely as a barometer of the public mood heading toward the 2022 elections, when a closely divided Congress again will be in play.

Meanwhile, short of a surprise, virtually the entire field of candidates appears set.

Other Republicans who qualified to run include reality TV personality and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner; businessman John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018; state lawmaker Kevin Kiley and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who also was headed to court in a dispute over his title on the ballot.

Elder's lawsuit is seeking an order from a court that would require Secretary of State Shirley Weber to list Elder as a candidate on the final list of candidates Wednesday.

The push to oust the first-term, Democratic governor is largely rooted in frustration with school and business closures during the pandemic that upended daily life for millions of residents.

Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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