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California legislator can run for both State Assembly and Congress

A Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that Republican Rep. Vince Fong can run for both the state Assembly and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s seat in Congress. In her order, Judge Shelleyanne WL Chang wrote in part: “The Court notes that it is concerned about the outcome of this petition, as it could result in voter confusion and disenfranchisement if Fong is ultimately elected for both positions but doesn’t do it. ” Fong asked the court to reconsider the issue after the Secretary of State determined that he could not run for the congressional seat because he had already filed to run for his seat representing Bakersfield in the Assembly “Today’s decision is a victory for voters in the 20th Congressional District, who will now have the opportunity to select the candidate of their choice in the March 5 election,” Fong said in a statement Thursday evening. “I am grateful that Judge Chang respected the integrity of our elections and sided with the voters of the Central Valley against an overly ambitious Sacramento politician.” | WATCH | Vince Fong Files Lawsuit for be placed on the ballot as a congressional candidate for Kevin McCarthy’s seat. Lawyers for Fong and Weber argued the issue in Sacramento Superior Court for about an hour Thursday. Neither Fong nor Weber were present at the hearing. Fong’s attorney, Brian Hildreth, argued that state law does not prohibit him from running for both offices and said it is solely up to the state Legislature and Congress to determine who can report to their respective rooms. This specific issue has not come up in modern history and Fong’s lawyer noted that the law was unclear. “It’s not our role to save the Legislature from itself,” Hildreth told the judge. “If he wants to stop a lawmaker from doing it, he knows how to do it,” he said, noting that the Legislature has changed the election code dozens of times over the past decade and has not not specified whether this was permitted. The secretary of state’s lawyers argued that Fong could not run under a specific state election law, called Election Code 8003(b), which could prohibit candidates from running for two different offices. The judge said in court that she didn’t think the rule applied to Fong’s case because he wasn’t running as an independent candidate, which she said the law addressed. “If this reading is correct, one would expect to see candidates running for multiple offices in every election, but we just don’t see it in California and why we don’t see it is because for 110 years this interpretation of 8003(b) has been the standard,” said Seth Goldstein, Weber’s lawyer. “If that’s true, let’s say there’s a very popular candidate. That candidate could run for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and comptroller at the same time, presumably winning all these races, and resign from each of them. but then the governor’s office appoints all his friends to constitutional offices, that’s the practical meaning of the petitioner’s interpretation,” Goldstein said. Chang responded: “And I agree, it’s an absurd result, but what does the law say?” Chang asked Fong’s lawyers about the legal cloud that could hang over his candidacy if it moves forward or if someone challenges his ability to hold the position once elected. “What if the appeals court or the superior court judge agrees with the argument and says he was not a valid candidate for this congressional district?” » asked Chang. “The voters won’t have known until they voted and now their votes have been invalidated. That’s what I’m saying, that’s my concern, there’s a question mark over the legitimacy of his candidacy , and I may not be the last. voice or opinion on this.” The decision came as the secretary of state’s office faced a deadline Thursday to certify the slate of candidates for the election March presidential primary in California. The Secretary of State has since released a certified list of candidates that includes Fong’s name as a candidate for Congress and the Assembly. Democratic state Assembly member Wendy Carillo posted to X Thursday evening, calling the judge’s decision a “gross interpretation of the law” and vowing to introduce legislation. to prevent this situation from happening again. The secretary of state’s office issued a statement early Friday, saying Weber “strongly disagrees with the outcome of this case” and plans to appeal the decision.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that Republican Rep. Vince Fong can run for both the state Assembly and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s seat in Congress.

In her order, Judge Shelleyanne WL Chang wrote in part: “The Court notes that it is concerned about the outcome of this petition, as it could result in voter confusion and disenfranchisement if Fong is ultimately elected for both positions but doesn’t do it. ”

Fong asked the court to reconsider the issue after the Secretary of State determined that he could not run for the congressional seat because he had already filed to run for his seat representing Bakersfield in the Assembly. ‘State.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the voters of the 20th Congressional District, who will now have the opportunity to select the candidate of their choice in the March 5 election,” Fong said in a statement Thursday evening. “I am grateful that Judge Chang respected the integrity of our elections and sided with Central Valley voters against an overly ambitious Sacramento politician.”

| WATCH | Vince Fong Files Lawsuit to Run for Congress for Kevin McCarthy’s Seat

Attorneys for Fong and Weber argued the issue in Sacramento Superior Court for about an hour Thursday. Neither Fong nor Weber were present at the hearing.

Fong’s attorney, Brian Hildreth, argued that state law does not prohibit him from running for both offices and said it is solely up to the state Legislature and Congress to determine who can report to their respective rooms. This specific issue has not come up in modern history and Fong’s lawyer noted that the law was unclear.

“It’s not our role to save the Legislature from itself,” Hildreth told the judge. “If he wants to stop a lawmaker from doing it, he knows how to do it,” he said, noting that the Legislature has changed the election code dozens of times over the past decade and has not not specified whether this was permitted.

The secretary of state’s lawyers argued that Fong could not run under a specific state election law, called Election Code 8003(b), which could prohibit candidates from running for two different offices. The judge said in court that she didn’t think the rule applied to Fong’s case because he wasn’t running as an independent candidate, which she said the law addressed.

“If this reading is correct, one would expect to see candidates running for multiple offices in every election, but we just don’t see it in California and why we don’t see it is because for 110 years this interpretation of 8003(b) has been the standard,” said Seth Goldstein, Weber’s lawyer.

“If [Fong] that’s right, let’s say there is a very popular candidate. This candidate could run for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and comptroller simultaneously, presumably win all of those races, resign from each of them, but the governor’s office would then appoint all his friends to constitutional office. , that is the practical importance of the petitioner’s interpretation,” Goldstein said.

Chang responded: “And I agree, it’s an absurd result, but what does the law say?”

Chang asked Fong’s lawyers about the legal cloud that could hang over his candidacy if it moves forward or if someone challenges his ability to hold the position once elected.

“What if the appeals court or the superior court judge agrees with the argument and says he was not a valid candidate for this congressional district?” » asked Chang. “The voters won’t have known until they voted and now their votes have been invalidated. That’s what I’m saying, that’s my concern, there’s a question mark over the legitimacy of his candidacy , and I may not be the last voice or opinion on this matter.

The move came as the secretary of state’s office faced a deadline Thursday to certify the slate of candidates for California’s March presidential primary election. The Secretary of State has since released a certified list of candidates that includes Fong’s name as a candidate for Congress and the Assembly.

Democratic state Assembly member Wendy Carillo posted on reproduces itself.

The secretary of state’s office issued a statement early Friday, saying Weber “strongly disagrees with the outcome of this case” and plans to appeal the decision.

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