by Kathleen Ronayne | The Associated Press
Sacramento, Calif. – The California Republican Party on Saturday cleared the way for one of 24 Republicans seeking the gubernatorial position in the upcoming recall election.
The support vote will take place virtually on 7 August and does not guarantee that the candidate will win, which will come with campaign cash and other party resources in the final weeks of the race. The party’s executive committee approved the process on Saturday, despite objections from some delegates and candidates, who argued it would split the party and distract from the main goal of convincing enough voters to recall Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Will happen.
Ballots for the September 14 election will begin knocking on mailboxes in mid-August. Voters will be asked two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and who should replace him? If half the voters want to recall him, the candidate with the most votes becomes the governor.
Thirty-six candidates are in the fray in his place. Top Republicans, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner, businessman John Cox, nationally syndicated radio host Larry Elder, celebrity Caitlyn Jenner, former Congressman Doug Ose and Assemblyman Kevin Kelly.
To win party support, a candidate would need to have the support of at least 60% of the party’s representatives, a high threshold that would be difficult to overcome. Delegates do not have to choose candidates; They can vote “no support”.
Party chair Jessica Milne Patterson had previously advocated for support, but now says she wants representatives to decide.
“I have consistently called for a fair, transparent process that will allow our party to come together and stand stronger with the decision to support or not support a candidate,” Patterson said in a statement after the vote.
The controversy over whether or not to support the party underscores the challenges Republicans face in the election. Though he successfully built up the pandemic frustrations to be recalled on the ballot, he has an uphill climb to oust Newsom. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state by almost 2-to-1, and Newsom has far more campaign money to spend.
Cox, who ran against Newsom in the 2018 general election and lost badly, denounced the support process and said he would not run. He says the party is trying to rig the vote in favor of Faulkner, who has a more moderate record than Cox and other prominent Republicans.
Faulkner’s campaign said a support process would be divisive after arguing earlier for one this week. But his campaign manager Stephen Puetz said Faulkner would still seek the party’s approval if the process went ahead.