Who is in? California’s recall candidate list causes confusion

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The official slate of Democratic Gavin Newsom’s recall candidates in California remained unstable on Sunday, with conservative radio host Larry Elder arguing he should be included, but officials with the state said it had submitted incomplete tax returns, a requirement to run.

Elder’s next recourse is to go to court to get the ballot for the September 14 election, which he tweeted on Sunday night that he could.

Applicants are required to submit income tax returns for the most recent five tax years and pay nearly $ 4,200 or submit 7,000 signatures. A letter to Elder shared Sunday night by the Secretary of State’s office does not detail the tax information it did not include. Several other candidates have yet to file their tax returns for 2020, so they have only submitted four years of returns.

“Politicians know I’m the only candidate who will beat Gavin Newsom – and that’s why they don’t want me on the ballot,” Elder wrote on Twitter. “They are using shenanigans they invented to block the doors to the governor’s office and make sure they stay in power.”

When Elder announced his candidacy on July 12, he instantly became one of the most recognizable Republicans in the field given his years on radio and appearances on Fox News and was seen as a candidate who could energize. more GOP voters. While Elder is likely to excite many voters, most Republicans are unlikely to stay at home if he is not on the list, said Jack Pitney, professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College.

“I think Republicans are going to run because they hate Newsom, not because they’re particularly fans of one of the replacement candidates,” Pitney said.

Among the other candidates, the campaign of former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer clashed with state officials over whether he could be listed as the city’s “retired” mayor and creator. of YouTube, Kevin Paffrath, said he plans to sue to get his YouTube nickname on the ballot. Meanwhile, Olympian-turned-reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner was reportedly in Australia to film a reality show, although she tweeted on Friday that she and her campaign team were “in full swing” .

The list of 41 candidates released by the state on Saturday lacked the panache of the more than 100 candidates who ran in a California governor’s last recall in 2003. But it did include a range of nominees from the anonymous to famous, including an artist known for putting himself on Los Angeles billboards in the 1980s and others with catchy names, like Deputy Sheriff Denver Stoner, and Nickolas Wildstar, who introduces himself as a musician / entrepreneur / father.

The list includes 21 Republicans, eight Democrats, one libertarian, nine independents and two members of the Green Party. Voting will begin next month by mail and the official election date is September 14.

Each candidate is listed with a job title or other descriptor, but they are not allowed to use the word “old”. Faulconer’s campaign demanded that he be listed as the “retired” mayor of San Diego, which state officials are now disputing, Faulconer spokesman John Burke said. He left office in 2020, and the reference to his previous role would help bolster his name identification.

Paffrath said he plans to sue after being denied permission to register as Kevin “Meet Kevin” Paffrath on the ballot, which includes his YouTube name. He noted that another candidate had been cleared to run as Chauncey “Slim” Killens, who is posing as a retired correctional officer.

No Democrat of political stature has decided to run. Polls have shown Newsom is well positioned to win. But if he loses in an upheaval, there would be no established Democrat among the replacement candidates, potentially paving the way for a Republican to take the seat.

Voters will receive a ballot with two questions: whether Newsom should be recalled and who should replace him. If more than half of voters say “yes” to the first question, then whoever is on the list of potential replacements gets the most votes is the new governor of the most populous state in the country. With many candidates and no clear favorites, it is possible that someone will win with less than 25% of the vote.

Much of the push to oust Newsom is rooted in frustration over long-standing school and business closures during the pandemic that disrupted the daily lives of millions of Californians. But many voters ignore it, and no new candidate emerged on Saturday who appeared to have the potential to rearrange the course of the race.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, candidates who have filed the required documents include:

– Paffrath, 29, who gives financial advice to his 1.7 million YouTube subscribers. The Democrat says his lack of “political background” is a good thing. His proposals include building underground tunnels for new roads and lowering income taxes.

– Angelyne, the only one-name contestant, is an artist who rose to prominence in Los Angeles in the 1980s by purchasing billboards to publicize her name and image. She is listed as “no party preference” and her platform includes an annual masked ball where citizens dress up as the governor, an official bubble bath day, and “rehabilitation for politicians”.

– Jeff Hewitt, 68, is a Riverside County Supervisor. He wrote in The Orange County Register that he entered the race because “this state no longer welcomes dreams, encourages ideas or solves problems.” He argues that the state needs a new approach and presents itself as a libertarian.

– Joel Ventresca, 69, is a Democrat, but says he’s more to the left than Newsom, whom he called a “corporate, establishment and insider Democrat.” Ventresca’s leading campaign platform provides free “cradle to grave” health care and education for everyone in California. He retired in 2018 from San Francisco International Airport, where he held several positions.

– Sam Gallucci, 60, Republican, is a former tech executive who is Senior Pastor at Embrace! Church in Oxnard, California. He also runs support services for women and children at risk and migrants. During his technology career, he rose through the corporate ranks to become executive vice president and general manager of software maker PeopleSoft, which Oracle acquired for $ 10.3 billion in 2004.

– Caitlyn Jenner, 71, is a longtime Republican trying to turn her stardom into a surprise victory. She won the gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympics, married the Kardashians and became reality TV stars with them and became transgender in 2015. She described herself as a fiscal conservative and liberal on social issues. But she has proven to be blunder-prone in interviews and has not released any meaningful policy proposals.

– John Cox, 66, was the Republican candidate for governor in 2018 and lost to Newsom in a landslide. This time around, the multimillionaire businessman has shown showman instinct, campaigning with both a Kodiak bear and a giant garbage ball. He has long sought a public office. He has sought numerous political positions, including the United States House and Senate, as well as that of President.

– Doug Ose, 66, is a multimillionaire businessman and former Republican congressman who represented a district in the Sacramento area from 1999 to 2005. Ose says he’s ready to work across party lines to reopen schools and boost the economy. He calls Sacramento Shattered, highlighting the homeless crisis, increasing gasoline taxes and increasing crime rates. He briefly ran for governor in 2018.

– Jacqueline McGowan, 46, Democrat, is a former stockbroker turned advocate for cannabis policy reform. She runs to draw attention to what she calls a crisis in the legal cannabis market, which has struggled to recover amid heavy regulations and taxes while facing stiff competition from the underground market. flourishing. It would reduce taxes on the pot and push communities that have not established local markets to open the door to legal sales.

–Kevin Faulconer, 54, is a two-time Republican who has been elected mayor of San Diego, with Democratic leanings, and has long been seen as a potential candidate statewide, given his centrist credentials in a strongly democratic California. He presented himself as a problem solver and touted his work in keeping homeless settlements off the streets as they spread unchecked in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

– Steve Chavez Lodge, 62, is a retired homicide detective and small business owner. He gained notoriety when he became engaged to reality TV personality Vicki Gunvalson, who appeared on the “Real Housewives of Orange County” for 15 years. The Republican says “California is completely shattered” and promises to “get the government out of our lives … and out of our wallets.” He has also served on local government commissions.

–Kevin Kiley, 36, is a Republican state assembly member from the Sacramento area who has become a favorite of GOP volunteers who have collected petition signatures for the recall. He has built a reputation as a strong curator and one of Newsom’s most vocal critics.


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