First and foremost, if you are a Democrat, vote “No” on the recall. Even if you hate Newsom.
If Newsom is recalled, we could get a Republican as governor for a year. That means a year of appointments of Republicans, including judicial appointments and replacements of any senators who leave office mid-term. Note: Senator Dianne Feinstein, for whom I wish a long and healthy life, is 88. (Born the same year as RBG.)
Should Newsom be recalled, he will be replaced by one of the 46 candidates listed on the ballot. Don’t bother writing in Newsom’s name — by quirks of California law, it won’t be counted.
Also don’t bother voting for a moderate Republican like former Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer. Even moderate Republicans will appoint Republicans.
So, what are your options? As of August 17, the polls show the top three candidates are Larry Elder (19%), Kevin Paffrath (9%), and John Cox (6%).
Elder, a Republican, is a right-wing talk show host who, according to Wikipedia, is “an ardent supporter of Donald Trump,” opposes any minimum wage, and thinks Roe v Wade should be overturned.
John Cox, a Republican, is the one travelling with a bear. He is vehemently anti-abortion, opposes mandating vaccinations for health care workers, and supports a southern border wall.
Kevin Paffrath is a 29-year-old real estate broker, a YouTuber and a Democrat. He has lofty goals with no plans for achieving them, but he promises to appoint a Democrat if Feinstein fails to complete her term.
That’s it. Simple. If you are a Democrat or an Independent, or even a moderate Republican, vote “no” on whether Newsom should be recalled and then vote for Kevin Paffrath, the most likely Dem to win if Newsom loses, even if he seems arrogant and unprepared.
Sharyne Merritt manages her family’s farms in Carpinteria and Santa Ynez Valley. In her previous life she was a political consultant and a professor of marketing research.