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California Republican Candidate Challenges “MAGA Conservative” Ballot Designation Denial

In a recent turn of events, Chris Mathys, a Republican candidate for California’s 22nd Congressional District, is taking legal action against California Secretary of State Shirley Weber.

The Battle Over ‘MAGA Conservative’ on the California Ballot

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The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, stems from Weber’s rejection of Mathys’s request to have the terms “MAGA Conservative” and “MAGA Conservative Republican” included on the state’s ballot as a designation for candidates like himself.

‘MAGA Conservative’ is the Best Description

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Mathys expressed his anticipation for his day in court, asserting, “I am looking forward to my day in court. My campaign believes that the best description of who I am and what I do is ‘MAGA Conservative.'”

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First Amendment Fight

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He emphasized that the request aligns with other terms used by candidates before him and cited the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of expression and the right to petition.

History of MAGA

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The MAGA (Make America Great Again) movement, popularized by former President Donald Trump, has garnered significant support. Nearly 52 percent of Republicans view it positively, according to an NBC News poll conducted in April.

Notable figures associated with the movement include Republican Representatives Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz.

Weber vs. Mathys

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Mathys initially submitted his request to add the “MAGA Conservative” designations to the ballot in November. However, Secretary of State Weber rejected the request, citing state law in a letter. Weber explained that the terms did not qualify as a current profession, vocation, or occupation.

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Mathys Files a Lawsuit

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Undeterred, Mathys filed a lawsuit, arguing that his self-identification as a “MAGA Conservative” should be left to voters. He drew parallels with other descriptive terms like “incumbent/businessman” or “legislator/attorney,” asserting that these are also adjectives followed by a noun.

Weber’s Response

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In response to the legal challenge, Weber submitted a court document asserting that the terms Mathys seeks are not permitted under California law. One key argument presented in the document is that the term “MAGA” is understood as an acronym for “Make America Great Again,” a trademarked campaign slogan.

Trademarked Slogans are not Allowed

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According to California Code of Regulations Section 20716(d), the usage of various trademarked slogans is strictly prohibited as ballot designations. The legal showdown between Mathys and Weber is set to unfold in court on Friday.

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Tough Competition

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Meanwhile, Mathys faces tough competition in the upcoming primary election, challenging incumbent Republican Representative David Valadao. Democratic contenders include State Senator Melissa Hurtado and former Assemblyman Rudy Salas.

Right to Self-identify Vs State’s Regulations

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As the legal battle unfolds, it remains to be seen how the court will weigh the candidate’s right to self-identify against the state’s regulations on ballot designations.

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