In the absence of a well-known, well-funded contender for Governor Gavin Newsom’s re-election, a motley mix of deep thinkers, hangers-on and weary political newbies harbors a degree of hope that they might shock California by winning in the May 7 primary June won enough votes to run against the governor in the general election.
The 25 challengers include a veteran lawmaker from Northern California, Republican Senator Brian Dahle, and Green Party candidate and former Los Angeles poet laureate Luis Javier Rodriguez.
Only a handful have raised more than $250,000 for their campaigns, with Dahle leading the way with $1.4 million. That’s a pittance in a state the size of California, where the price tag for a successful gubernatorial campaign is typically in the tens of millions.
For some, this will be their second go-around against Newsom. Both Orange County publicity executive Anthony Trimino, who hired a skywriter to spell “Unmask Our Kids” over the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium in February, and Redding-based management consultant Jenny Rae Le Roux both ran during the failed recall the Republican leadership for Governor Newsom in September. Michael Shellenberger, a Bay Area homelessness and environmental protection advocate, challenged Newsom in 2018.
But nothing seems to pose much of a challenge to Newsom, who easily defeated recall efforts in September and has more than $23 million in his re-election campaign bankroll.
Jim Brutte, former chairman of the California Republican Party, said that in the battle for placement in the top two in the primary and the November challenge from Newsom, the contest between challengers “is to lose to Brian Dahle.” Along with his financial advantage, Dahle already represents nearly 1 million Californians in the legislature and has a two-decade electoral track record in Northern California.
Still, some others in the race are capable of making a dent, Brutte said. The most active in the list of long-shot candidates is a diverse group of candidates who have each raised six figures for their campaigns. None have ever been elected to public office, and they come from diverse political camps, united only by their dislike of the incumbent Democrat.
Brulte said Shellenberger, who is running as an independent candidate “with no party preference” needs to overcome the disadvantage of not having a political party in his corner. Even when Shellenberger was a nonpartisan Democratic candidate in 2018, he received just 1% of the vote in the gubernatorial primary.
A Republican or Democratic label next to a candidate’s name on the ballot gives voters an indication of their political beliefs. “Party affiliation is the single most important factor in who wins the primary and general election,” Bulte said.
Shellenberger rejects the analysis. He said California voters are prepared to accept an alternative to the entrenched partisan on the ballot at every election.
“I think this is our moment,” he said. “Anything Gavin Newsom touches, he ruins. Not only has he significantly worsened homelessness, he has also exacerbated wildfires and exacerbated the effects of drought by not taking necessary action. It has also degraded student performance. I mean, it’s hard to imagine a governor with a worse government record than Gavin Newsom.”
Shellenberger, 50, worked with left-wing Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the late 1980s during what he calls “radical youth”. Today he’s a vocal critic of California’s metropolitan progressives, with Newsom at the top of his list. The author and activist has sidelined the country’s environmental movement and is a strong advocate of expanding the country’s nuclear power capacity.
The son of Colorado public school teachers, he accused Newsom of closing public schools longer than necessary during the COVID-19 outbreak, noting that the governor’s children were taking classes at a private school in Sacramento.
Shellenberger blames Democrats for the rise in homelessness and various crimes in the state. He believes temporary housing should be made available to all people, but those seeking permanent housing should be encouraged to seek treatment if they have an addiction or mental health problem. He supports fighting homeless camps and creating a statewide mental health and addiction care system that he would call Cal Psych.
As of May 26, Shellenberger’s campaign had raised $956,000, trailing only Dahle among candidates challenging Newsom. Jenny Rae Le Roux, a Republican candidate from Northern California, raised the third-most with $738,000 — although that includes $445,000 of her own money.
Le Roux also wants to expand mental health and drug treatment programs and review state spending on homelessness. In line with other Newsom challengers, she wants to remove barriers to new housing construction by curtailing lawsuits alleging violations of the landmark California Environmental Quality Act.
Le Roux said she decided to run for governor because of her business experience. Her Redding-based consulting firm has worked with big companies like Abbott Laboratories and CVS Health, as well as business schools at UC Davis, Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame, according to her state-filed financial disclosure form. Le Roux also worked for the national firm Bain Consulting before moving west.
“I spent 10 years in the corporate world in the corner office and then in my own company,” the Republican nominee said. “I’ve been in a leadership role my entire life. So it makes much more sense for my skills and abilities to move into a managerial role, not a legislative role.”
She expressed concern about global climate change, but disagrees with Newsom’s decision to produce all new vehicles sold in California with zero emissions by 2035. The state should focus more on incentivizing residents to buy electric cars rather than mandates, she said, and needs to invest more in infrastructure to support those vehicles.
Le Roux was born in Tennessee and grew up in Pennsylvania. He is a member of Bethel Church, a multi-denominational megachurch that has come under scrutiny in recent years for its influence in Redding and for its leaders who have questioned the effectiveness of masks in curbing the spread of COVID-19. A church-affiliated school was the scene of a major outbreak of the virus in October 2020.
Le Roux said she relied on Conversations with God to make important decisions, including starting her management consulting firm and running consecutive runs for governor.
“The run for governor in the recall was a question — like, ‘Hey, I’ve been preparing you for this your whole life, are you going to do this?'” she said.
Le Roux is an anti-abortionist but said the issue is a fixed law in California. She said she voted for former President Trump but disagreed with his false claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
Shawn Collins, a Republican gubernatorial candidate from Orange County, said he did not vote for Trump. The attorney and Afghanistan war veteran said Trump is not only “making it difficult for Republicans to win elections in California,” but his allegations of rampant voter fraud have convinced many Republican voters not to cast ballots.
“You can’t win a game if your team doesn’t show up,” said Collins, who played basketball at Rice University in Houston.
Collins said he originally planned to challenge Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), but decided against it after the newly drawn political county lines placed his home in the area represented by incumbent Republican Rep. Young Kim of La Habra becomes.
Collins, a black Republican, said he became interested in politics after the 2020 protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. He said racism exists but is less pervasive than the rampant discrimination that existed during the Jim Crow era, when his parents had to use separate drinking fountains and were barred from some restaurants.
“You’re driving this narrative that America is systematically racist and if you’re a black person or a brown person in this country that the game is being rigged and set against you. And that’s not true,” Collins said.
Anthony Trimino, another Republican candidate from Orange County, said his decision to challenge Newsom in both last year’s recall and now in the primary was motivated by the governor’s COVID-19 mask mandates and required vaccinations for certain frontline employees Front. Advertising agency founder Trimino created the We Are Still Heroes website to help healthcare workers and others who have lost their jobs after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The fact that the government can come into your house and tell you what you can and can’t do with your children, and then prevent you from actually being a productive member of society by saying you’re not in this restaurant can go, you can. You can’t eat here, you can’t go to the store — I mean, that’s absolutely absurd,” he said.
The grandson of a Cuban immigrant, Trimino, has criticized California public schools for teaching children what he called “sexuality and oral sex,” and they talk about perversion and they talk about hate. He wants parents to be able to send their children to the school of their choice.
To qualify for the office of California governor, candidates must either pay a $4,371 application fee or collect 4,750 signatures from California-registered voters. You must also be a US citizen, be registered as a voter in the state, and have never been convicted of a felony involving bribes or embezzlement, theft, or extortion of public funds.
The list of Californians hoping to beat Newsom includes 13 Republicans, three Democrats, two Greens and seven independents listed as having “no party preference.”
Republican policy adviser Tim Rosales said Newsom’s challengers face a daunting task. In the 2018 campaign, he worked for GOP challenger John Cox, a wealthy businessman who poured millions of dollars of his own money into the campaign. After gaining support from Trump and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Cox made it out of the primary but lost in November by the widest margin in more than half a century.
“Getting through the primaries is one thing. The parliamentary elections are a whole new level,” he said.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-31/california-primary-governor-candidates-gavin-newsom They want to beat Gov. Newsom in California primary election