On June 23, California confirmed that the recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom received the necessary signatures to hold a recall election

The “Recall Gavin” campaign began on June 10, 2020, fueled by a moment where Newsom was photographed eating at an indoor restaurant when COVID-19 regulations advised against it.

The campaign gained steam after that, as more than 2 million signatures were presented for the secretary of state to confirm. Of those signatures, 1,719,943 were validated, meeting the threshold for the recall election.

Since then, Gov. Newsom has gone on the offensive, calling the election the “Republican Recall” and dismissing it as a partisan campaign run by “anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant Trump supporters.”

The election will be held on September 14. Voters will be asked, “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of governor,” and then choose a successor from a list of 45 candidates.

If the recall goes through, the candidate with the highest vote total in question two will serve out the remainder of Gov. Newsom’s term through Jan. 2, 2023.

Here is a look at the 45 candidates who will be on the ballot for the second question:

Republican Party Candidates

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a native of Southern California and has made a career in Los Angeles as a conservative talk radio host. As a California Gubernatorial Recall Election candidate, challenging current California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be Elder’s first showing in politics. However, due to a syndicated radio presence, Elder’s right-leaning values have been broadcast to listeners nationally for nearly three decades. 

In his attempt to win the seat of California governor, Elder has not been shy about his $0.00 minimum wage concept, which Elder said is the “ideal” wage, according to the Sacramento Bee. Elder calls the state’s current minimum wage a burden to businesses, and says he would eliminate a minimum wage in California, allowing individual businesses to set their own wages.   

Other points of emphasis within Elder’s campaign for California governor include growing the middle class, which his website states will work “to reduce your tax burden and alleviate regulatory burden on your entrepreneurship.” 

Elder’s website is also critical of Newsom’s action on housing in California, alleging that Newsom’s promise to build homes in the state fell short. 

Although national publications have spotlighted Elder as one the recall’s front-runners, Elder recently made headlines after his former fiance Alexandra Datig filed a police report against Elder in August, claiming he was abusive toward her. Datig filed a report with the LAPD in August, citing the incident occurred more than five years ago, but was never previously reported. 

Elder has denied the allegations.


Kevin Faulconer

Faulconer is the former mayor of San Diego, serving between 2014 to 2020. Prior to becoming mayor, he was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2002, and served until he ran for mayor. With nearly two decades of experience in local government, Faulconer says he understands the importance of small business and has put an emphasis on plans to save the restaurant industry in California. 

In his “Save California Restaurants Plan” Faulconer promises to reopen all California restaurants without COVID-19 capacity limits and eliminate the state’s emergency orders. Faulconer also plans to establish the “Small Restaurant Relief Fund” that will award financial grants. In fact, Faulconer’s campaign website outlines a plan that targets restaurants, “whose 2020 sales were less than 2019 sales,” and states that restaurants can receive up to $20,000 in state relief grants. 

As governor, Faulconer pledges to deliver more funding to police departments, starting during a press conference on Aug. 25 that, “if we don’t have a safe city we don’t have anything – if we don’t have a safe state we don’t have anything.” 

Faulconer has also criticized Gavin Newsom’s decreases in funding for wildfire preparedness, adding that he will declare a state of emergency for fires on his first day as governor. Faulconer also plans to work to establish a new prevention department specifically to mitigate the state’s wildfire troubles. 

Faulconer calls this the California Department of Wildfire Prevention, which will “streamline our approach with one department to coordinate and lead all state wildfire prevention efforts with federal and local governments,” according to his website.



Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, was an Olympic gold medalist in 1976. Jenner, who has lived in California for 50 years, is a well-known celebrity associated with the Keeping Up With The Kardashians reality show, thanks to a 23-year marriage to Kris Jenner, the mother to Kim, Chloe and Courtney Kardashian. 

In 2015, Jenner made additional headlines when she transitioned from Bruce to Caitlyn, which prompted a new reality series I am Cait. Still, aside from her celebrity status, Jenner is an unknown in the world of California politics – something she hopes to change come September 14. 

Jenner’s campaign website promotes that she is working to focus on COVID-19 recovery, adding that she would push back against lockdowns in the future. On Twitter, where Jenner has amassed 3.4 million followers, she has stated that she is vaccinated, and encourages others to do so, “after consulting their doctors.”

Aside from COVID-19 recovery, Jenner has been outspoken about her plans for education, indicating that she opposes critical race theory and would fight for it not to be taught in schools. For context, Critical Race Theory investigates theories behind racial injustice, examining how social constructs have influenced law-making and racism in the United States.  

Jenner also is putting an emphasis on addressing the state’s affordable housing crisis as one of her top priorities as governor. Jenner claims California ranks No. 1 in many categories nationally, which include regulations and taxes, which she credits for the number of people and businesses leaving the state faster than any other. 

Running as a Republican, Jenner is critical of current California Governor Gavin Newsom, specifically targeting Newsom’s spending on the state’s housing crisis, adding that Newsom is spending billions of dollars with little to show. Earlier this year, in June, Newsom signed a $12 billion bill to address homelessness in California over the next two years. 


Sam L. Gallucci

Sam Gallucci, a business owner in San Francisco, has lived in all three regions of California. Growing up in Los Angeles, and later attending college in San Diego, Gallucci says as a lifelong Californian, he is “the product of the American Dream.” 

As a member of the Republican Party, Gallucci says in his quest for governor, he is focused on helping small businesses, solving the homeless crisis and says he will improve education by giving, “teachers the tools to do their jobs effectively.”

In his plan to improve education as governor of California, Gallucci says despite the budget of $100 million being funneled to public education from the state budget every year, California public education system is ranked one of the lowest in quality. 

In a YouTube video posted on his campaign website, Gallucci says one-fifth of high school graduates are illiterate, however, he does not attribute that statistic to any research or study. 



Chauncey ‘Slim’ Killens

Known as Slim, Chauncey Killens is a resident of the city of Winchester in Riverside County. Killens is a U.S. Army Veteran, having served from 1975 to 1980. Since then, Killens worked as a Department of Corrections officer. 

Now retired, the 63-year-old is running for California governor as a Republican, and supports conservative views on law enforcement and immigration, adding that he supports the Trump administration’s “decision to build The Wall helping to keep illegal immigrants, who disrespect our laws, out of our State and cities.” 

In a statement found in his campaign literature, Killens details his run for office as a response to the freedoms he has seen vanish from California. 

“As a 63-year-old black male, who has lived in the Great State of California the majority of my life, I have benefited and enjoyed the many freedoms this country has offered. These God-given freedoms have slowly eroded over the years both at the State and at the National levels which became shockingly evident with the recent chaos we’ve witnessed around our Nation by BLM, Antifa and white “woke” folk. It is for this reason that I have decided to enter the gubernatorial race in California. If Governor Gavin Newsom is recalled, as new Governor I, Chauncey Killens, will aggressively support and defend our Faith, our Families and our Freedoms.”


Steve Chavez Lodge

With more than 96,000 Instagram followers, Orange County resident Steve Chavez Lodge identifies as conservative, and is campaigning as a Republican in the California Gubernatorial Recall Election. 

In terms of focus, Lodge plans to tackle the homeless issue in California, which he attributes to “a failure of bad public policies, horrific legislation and government not admitting they are wrong,” per his campaign website. 

Lodge’s campaign will also focus on reducing the high cost of living in California.  

“We need common sense back in public policy and legislation. It can be done and with your help, we can Make California, California Again,” Lodge states on his campaign website. Lodge has claimed he would also pull the plug on California’s high-speed rail project. 

Currently, Lodge is the owner Lodge International LLC, an O.C.-based consulting firm. Prior to owning his own business, Lodge spent 27 years as a gang homicide detective with the Santa Ana Police Department. During his time as a detective, Lodge was voted both Officer of the Year and Detective of the Year. 

In Orange County, Lodge ran for Anaheim City Council in 2016, but did not place in the top two candidates. 

In addition to his career in Orange County law enforcement, Lodge is also recognized due to his romantic relationship to Vicki Gunvalson, one of the original cast members for the reality series Real Housewives of Orange County, which he made appearances on.



Diego Martinez
Born in Uruguay, Diego Martinez became a citizen of the United States in 2008. With a strong belief in the Second Amendment, Martinez said his administration will work to achieve open or concealed carry laws in California, and eradicate background checks on ammo. Martinez also said he would reverse a ban on assault weapons. 

His campaign website states he is opposed to over-regulation, human trafficking and mandatory vaccinations and vows not to defund the police.

Martinez, who was not born in America, supports legal immirgation policies, adding that current laws need to be updated. To accomplish this task, Martinez plans to finish the border wall, adding “Hi-Tech innovations that would assist the Border Patrol with the drug and child trafficking at the border.” 

Other top of mind issues, according to Martinez’s campaign website, include California’s water resources, and how it relates to the state’s high-speed rail project. By signing the Water Bill of Rights, Martinez hopes to take funding away from the “Train to Nowhere,” to upgrade California’s water infrastructure, and incorporate more water reuse technology in California. 


Robert C. Newman

Newman is a Republican candidate but has never held public office. Newman, whose occupation is listed as a farmer on Ballotpedia, exclusively blames California Governor Gavin Newsom’s “failed leadership” as the reasoning behind California’s recall efforts. 

Despite having no previous political experience, Newman, who carries a Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology, has a five-part water policy as part of his campaign website, which breaks down California’s Water Supply into four different categories – Availability, Supply, and Conservation and his plan for the Oroville Dam. As governor, he envisions the Oroville Dam being used as a water storage facility by collecting rainwater from the recharge pods on the surface of the dam.  

Within the plan, Newman states that divine intervention is creating more water, and believes it is not a finite resource. 

“I personally do [not] have the data but I do not believe that God is making more water. Therefore water is endlessly being recycled in a natural way.”


Denver Stoner

As a 28-year resident of California, Denver Stoner has worked as deputy sheriff and public safety office in Tulare County. As a public safety officer in Tulare County, Stoner’s job responsibilities include working as a firefighter and an EMT, according to his campaign website. 

Running for the governor of California as a Republican candidate, Stoner lists that he is Pro-God, Pro-Family, Pro-Gun and Pro-Life. Without naming specific programs or initiatives he plans to implement, his campaign website details his administration will work on creating opportunities for small businesses and supporting public safety. 

In a personal quote, Stoner vows to shrink the government if elected governor of California. 

“I am running for governor for California to reset the course of this state, and even the United States by promoting public safety, relieving unnecessary burdens placed on any business that is not mutually beneficial to the business and the citizens, and by increasing the voice of the individuals of California by making the government smaller.”


Anthony Trimino

Republican California Gubernatorial Recall Election candidate Anthony Trimino sees himself as a “problem solver,” rather than a politician. Trimino, a father of five, is the chief executive officer and chief creative officer of Traffik, an Irvine-based global advertising and marketing agency. Traffik was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies.

In a recent Instagram post, Trimino explained that his company grew through the pandemic, adding that his company actually moved into a bigger office during the statewide lockdown. 

“1 day after the governor locked the state down, we moved into our new corporate office. We increased our physical footprint by 3X, doubled our staff and didn’t lay off a single person,” Trimino wrote. 

Trimino hopes this attitude will resonate with voters, as he is critical of current Governor Gavin Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and says he does not believe in vaccine mandates, and said he will reject vaccine passports and statewide lockdowns. He has also said he will honor the sanctity of family, and let the decision of children’s health in education be made by the parents, not the government. 

With conservative values at the core of the Orange County-based CEO’s campaign for governor, Trimino’s website indicates that his first priority will be to “restore and protect our God given freedoms to be a free thinking people,” but gives no details to what protections he will be restoring on his website.  

Trimino indicates that the current administration running California is guilty of unnecessary overreach and regulation. 

Leo S. Zacky

Campaigning for governor of California as a member of the Republican party, Leo S. Zacky is a 30-year-old entrepreneur and a native of Los Angeles. Zacky is an heir to the Zacky family poultry company, which specialized in organic chicken and turkey for nearly 100 years. 

Zacky Farms, his grandfather’s company, filed for bankruptcy in 2012. In an effort to save the farm and the family business, Leo Zacky took over the role of vice president of Zacky Farms. Eventually, the chicken portion of the company was sold to Foster Farms, and Zacky Farms maintained control of the turkey portion. Ultimately, the company closed in 2018.  

In a video posted to his Twitter page, Zacky said his tenure within the agriculture industry, his time as vice president of Zacky Farms, and his experience as a board member for the California Poultry Federation “has given him a unique understanding of business and politics,” and prepared him to take on the role of California governor. 

In terms of COVID-19 recovery, Zacky’s campaign website indicates that he is against lockdowns, forced vaccinations, and mask mandates, stating this stance is supported by the U.S. Constitutions and the Nuremberg Code. 

Zacky’s campaign website also publicizes a belief that COVID-19 research from doctors and scientists that does not correlate with the findings of the Centers for Disease Control is being “censored and silenced,” and also promotes the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 pandemic is part of an economic Ponzi scheme lead by the elites. 

“We are now finding out that the COVID-19 pandemic is part of a global plan being orchestrated by the World Economic Forum, headed by Klaus Schwab,” Zacky’s campaign website reads.  

When asked if he believed current President Joe Biden won the election lawfully, Zacky responded, “No,” in a Los Angeles Times Editorial Board Questionnaire published on Aug. 27. 


John H. Cox

John Cox ran for governor in 2018, gaining an endorsement from Donald Trump at the time and losing to Gov. Gavin Newsom, earning 38% of the vote. Cox announced his candidacy for the recall election as soon as it appeared that enough petition signatures were obtained. 

Going as far as campaigning with a live Kodiak bear at his side, Cox has been critical of Newsom every step of the way, questioning Newsom’s handling of the pandemic, from lockdown requirements to offering Californians prizes in exchange for vaccinations. 

Cox believes that California businesses and schools should not have been closed for the amount of time that they were during the pandemic. One of his main campaign issues has revolved around homelessness and he plans to use “the power of the courts to force homeless people to receive mental health treatment.” He has also said that the problems he sees in California are a “management problem,” that he feels he can remedy with his experience as a businessman. 


Kevin Kiley

Since 2016, Kevin Kiley has been part of the California State Assembly, representing the 6th district. Calling the recall election “the greatest citizens movement in California history,” Kiley believes that Gov. Newsom has led California to a “freefall.” 

Kiley criticized Newsom for schools switching to online learning during the pandemic and schools were a leading reason for his run in the recall election, saying, “The way to keep California schools open is to remove Gavin Newsom as governor.” Kiley said he is taking a “back to basics” approach to his campaign and seeks to make changes to the “political culture.” 

“Removing Gavin Newsom will not solve California’s problems all at once,” Kiley said in his campaign. “He exemplifies those problems, and he has done more to compound than any prior governor.”

In his campaign, Kiley has called the pandemic regulations an “attack on religious freedoms.”

“It is a vibrant faith community that perhaps poses the greatest threat to a corrupt government,” Kiley said. “By bringing people together, by teaching transcendent principles and values, by providing a sense of meaning and purpose, all of that runs contrary to the goal of maximum government control.”

David Bramante

Candidate David Alexander Bramante is a realtor out of Los Angeles. Bramante said he is running because “California is behind in the nation.” Bramante has been critical of Gov. Newsom’s handling of the pandemic, and is running under the premise of “protecting medical freedom.” 

If elected governor, Bramante said he would end all state of emergency declarations by Newsom, including mask and vaccine mandates. Instead, he wants to create an executive order of his own, “making it illegal in California for any of these mandates from coming back.”

He has been critical of recent vaccine mandates made for state employees, as well as health care workers. 

“The nurses I have interacted with around my children have all been kind, professional and informative,” Bramante said in his campaign page. “So nothing is crazier to me than seeing Governor Gavin Newsom give nurses an ultimatum to get a vaccine jab or lose their job.”

Bramante has also been critical of notable Democratic political figures backing Newsom, saying figures such as Barack Obama are “using fear-mongering and labeling to try to manipulate the hearts and minds of Californians.”


David Hillberg

David Hillberg is a certified Federal Aviation Administration mechanic and Army veteran who formerly worked in the L.A. Sheriff’s Deptartment Aero Bureau and spent time in Border Patrol.

“I’m just an aircraft mechanic,” Hillberg said in a Ballotpedia interview, adding that he wants to clean out the “graft and corruption, the biased power and injustices made upon the citizens by an off the rail and dysfunctional governance.”

Hillberg has not specified his plans of action for policy, or many core issues, but has been critical of current leadership, believing that there needs to be an overhaul. In an interview with the San Diego Tribune, Hillberg stated that he would approach the homelessness issue by clearing out “the criminal element.” As far as education, Hillberg believes the government should not be involved in educational decisions. When asked about immigration, Hillberg said he believes that aiding and abetting undocumented immigrants is a crime, and politicians should be arrested for their immigration policies.


Jenny Rae Le Roux

Jenny Rae Le Roux is a businesswoman who is running under the premise of wanting to “Free California to live, work & breathe again.”

Le Roux launched a campaign called “10 Reasons to Recall Newsom” where she accuses Gov. Newsom of allowing EDD fraud, releasing 76,000 California inmates, lying about wildfires and even condemning school campus closures during the pandemic, among six other reasons.

In a 3-part platform, Le Roux says that as governor she would strive to have Californians “live, work and breathe.” She plans to achieve those things through strengthening education, housing the homeless with incentives, reducing business fees and by managing controlled burns on federal and state land that is susceptible to wildfires.


David Lozano

David Lozano is an attorney with experience as both a police officer and deputy for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and says California “needs an aggressive, skillful advocate.”

Lozano said he has first-hand experience in dealing with homelessness and the issue is a key reason for his candidacy. Lozano has put out an ambitious plan to end homelessness in two years by building three residential cities that would provide both temporary and permanent housing to the homeless, as well as providing medical and psychological aid.

The cities would be located in Northern California, Central California and Los Angeles, with each housing at least 50,000 people. 

Lozano’s COVID-19 policy would involve eliminating mask mandates and supplying hospitals with enough equipment to fight future pandemics. Lozano also has stated he would be open to the advice made by medical professionals and public health officials.  


Daniel Mercuri

“Starve the government, feed the people.” That is Daniel Mercuri’s campaign slogan in his gubernatorial run.

Mercuri is a Navy veteran who says he is “tired of the political correctness.” He also says he has been “exposed to corruption” in government. 

The former congressional candidate said he fears the “governments of the world have clamped down on freedom and civil liberties in the name of safety and security.” Mercuri says he will “fight for the constitution” as he believes that Marxist and communist ideologies have been a problem in California. 


Sarah Stephens

Sarah Stephens is a pastor from San Diego whose platform includes lowering taxes and helping people find jobs. 

Stephens said if elected governor, she would “bring the prosperity back” to California by cutting “useless projects.” She has stated she is “pro-life” and an advocate of the 2nd Amendment. 

In July, Stephens apologized for transporting a man who had just assaulted someone at a transgender-related protest at WiSpa in Los Angeles. Stephens said that she was afraid of “Antifa” and was attempting to flee the site with fellow protesters, but did not know that the assault incident had occurred.  


Joe Symmon

Joe Symmon describes himself as a born-again Christian who founded Champion’s Cathedral Church in Florida. He says he is “pro-life” and “pro-2nd Amendment” and is running a faith-based campaign. 

On his campaign website, Symmon states he believes U.S. documents such as the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights were all “inspired by God.”

Almost two years into the pandemic, Symmon says he wants to lead a “revival” by funding the police, improving education and blocking critical race theory from being taught in schools. 


Nickolas Wildstar

The Republican candidate refers to himself as a Libertarian and says he is “the revolution.” Wildstar believes that the state’s liberties are being attacked under Gov. Newsom. 

The Milwaukee-born recording artist is a strong advocate for carrying firearms without permits and wants to make California an open-carry state. 

Wildstar also said he would help grow the California economy by eliminating business licensing fees and reducing taxes.

“Freedom is now a privilege granted to us by people we employ with our tax dollars,” Wildstar says. “This is why we must say no to tyranny, take a stand against oppression together, and bring back liberty!

Democratic Party Candidates

Holly L. Baade

Holly Baade is a Shaman at the Joyful Warrior Shaman School and a self-proclaimed bridge-builder.

Her campaign platform states she wants to “end the tyranny, prosecute the tyrants, create public planetary safety, give power to the people, build with transparency, enable shared-abundance, honor life and innovate with love.”

Baade said she believes she can restore balance in the state through art, science, technology and entrepreneurship. 


Patrick Kilpatrick

Patrick Kilpatrick is an actor, writer and producer who calls himself a “Libertine patriot.” 

Kilpatrick says he wants to lower taxes and “put money in every Californian’s hand.”

Part of Kilpatrick’s campaign revolves around bringing “Hollywood back to California.” He would like to return jobs to the TV and film industry through incentives. As with many of the other candidates, Kilpatrick says he would want to lower taxes, implement “zero tolerance for crime,” and end homelessness in the state. 


Kevin Paffrath

Paffrath calls himself a “true JFK-style Democrat,” and says he would end homelessness within 60 days of being elected. 

The ambitious homelessness proposition would involve a state of emergency declaration that would create emergency optional housing. These facilities would then provide medical and mental health aid, along with food and hygiene services. 

His pandemic plan involves ending lockdown restrictions and incorporating “proper” masking with N95-grade masks, as well as an incentive-based vaccination rollout. 

Paffrath believes in community-style policing. This would involve fully funding law enforcement for “better training” and ending police practices that he believes target minorities. 

In the most recent polls before the election, Paffrath has been the leading candidate running as a Democrat, although he has stated that he has become “disillusioned” by the Democratic party and would consider joining a newly created party.


Brandon M. Ross

Ross says that California needs a “moderate Democrat who understands comebacks.” As an attorney and physician, Ross said he has the tools to lead California out of the pandemic. 

Ross says that lockdowns are no longer necessary unless the health care system becomes overwhelmed, but a vaccination plan that includes education and outreach is necessary. While he does not want to incorporate vaccination mandates, he believes masks are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Opioids are also at the top of Ross’ list of issues to tackle. Ross wants to provide education, outreach and free rehabilitation. 


Daniel Watts

Watts is a free speech lawyer who feels those rights are “under assault” in colleges. His top campaign priorities involve protecting free speech and making public colleges affordable. 

On Watts’ campaign website, it states he would lean on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) non-profit to audit public colleges and give a “green light” on their effort to preserve student constitutional rights. If given the green light, those schools would be allowed to offer free education. 

“California’s next governor should support free speech and affordable higher education.”


John R. Drake

Born in Rīga, Latvia, John R. Drake is a 21-year-old community college student now living in Ventura County. Drake is a self-described progressive democratic running for the office of governor in the California Gubernatorial Recall Election. 

Although one of the youngest candidates within the recall election, Drake has an aggressive approach to campaigning. With his website stating that he doesn’t view himself as “someone who likes to bullshit people. I will say what needs to be said and get done what needs to be done; even if that means making some enemies along the way.”

As a member of the LGBTQIAP+ community, Drake said he plans to fight for individual rights, and will not stand for inclusion. He hopes to incorporate mental health sensitivity training to lower rates of suicide within the LGBT youth and would increase penalties for those convicted of hate crimes against the LGBTQ community. 

On his campaign website, Drake lists environmental projection, education reform and the creation of new jobs as his top priorities as governor. 

In terms of education reform, Drake would start with increasing pay for teachers, and aims to “reorganize and change the current system,” according to his website. However, Drake offers no concrete plan of action in relation to these educational goals. 

Other issues Drake’s campaign will focus on include homelessness and abortion. As a pro-choice candidate, Drake said he wants to increase sexual education in public schools, and provide alternatives to abortion. 


Jacqueline McGowan

Democratic candidate Jacqueline McGowan is a Northern California-based cannabis lobbyist and business consultant who worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street for nearly two decades before moving into the cannabis space, according to her campaign website.  

McGowan attributes her work in cannabis policy as a prerequisite to becoming governor, adding the years she has spent within the industry have shaped her understanding of policymaking in California. McGowan’s close relationship with cannabis legalization has led her to describe California’s legal market as an “abject failure,” adding that the black market is still thriving, and not what voters had in mind in 2016.

In terms of her priorities, McGowan lists wildfire, housing and homelessness and the interest in exploring more alternative substances for mental health illnesses, including Psilocybin treatment. Psilocybin is an active psychoactive compound found in hallucinogenic mushrooms. 

Through this exploration, McGowan would decriminalize the possession of the substance from people 21 and older. In addition to legislation involving Psilocybin, McGowan also hopes to establish the Psilocybin Legalization Research and Development Committee in order “to research and make recommendations as to how to bring about an industry in a method that does not price patients out of the use of this valuable medicine yet allows the State of California to gain from the employment and tax benefits,” according to her campaign website. 


Armando Perez-Serrato

Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato is a democrat running for the office of governor of California. Perez-Serrato hopes to become California’s first Latino governor if elected. Perez-Serrato is the owner of Combat Inc., a small business with a focus on designing and manufacturing parts for assault rifles. 

Due to his relationship with the firearm industry, Perez-Serrato supports the second amendment. While Perez-Serrato does not advocate for defunding the police, he calls for “Modernizing Police, with a new approach to public safety that includes the community,” according to his campaign website. As governor, Perez-Serrato also supports relaxed gun control, adding that he would implement open and conceal and carry laws, without sheriff approval.  

Other areas of Perez-Serrato’s platform include environmental support. On his website, Perez-Serrato highlights a plan to end extreme drought by building the “Perez Pipeline,” a freshwater pipeline that would transfer water from Canada to California. 


Joel Ventrasca

With more than two decades of experience as the former administrator, analyst and safety security risk expert at San Francisco International Airport and the head of the San Francisco Disability and Aging Services Commission, Democratic candidate Joel Ventrasca is familiar with holding public office.  

Ventresca says he is the most qualified Democratic candidate to replace current California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Some of his top priorities include raising the minimum wage to $16 an hour, along with ending homelessness and mass incarceration with “comprehensive programs,” according to his campaign website. 

In terms of environmental initiatives, Ventrasca is committed to making public transportation free for the public, while transitioning California into the first zero-carbon emission state in the nation by converting the state’s power infrastructure, “into a full-service consumer-owned statewide public power system that operates efficiently, reliably, sustainably & safely with 15% lower rates.”


Doug Ose

Former Rep. Doug Ose appears on the ballot, but unofficially dropped out after suffering a heart attack in August. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Green Party Candidates

Dan Kapelovitz

One of two Green Party candidates, Kapelovitz is a criminal defense and animal rights attorney. 

Kapelovitz supports a “ranked-choice” voting system, which would allow voters to rank their top three candidates, which he says would give other parties and candidates a more fair shot than the currently dominated two-party vote system. 

Kapelovitz also says he is running as an alternative to Republican candidates who have pushed for the recall election since 2020.

“I oppose the recall, partly due to Newsom making it so likely that a right-wing Republican will win if he loses,” Kapelovitz says on his campaign website. “I am also running because I believe I am the only candidate of the broad progressive left who can win and govern effectively.”


Heather Collins
Heather Collins is listed as a member of the Green Party in California’s Gubernatorial Recall Election. Owner of a hair salon, Collins is running because she feels that as an ordinary person  not a career politician  she is able to better connect with voters. 

As a part of her platform, Collins vows to keep restaurants and schools open, while maintaining access to local government services. 


Libertarian Party Candidate

Jeff Hewitt

Running for California governor as the Libertarian, Jeff Hewitt currently serves as Fifth District Supervisor on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Hewitt has lived in Riverside County most of his life and attended college at California State University, San Bernardino. 

On his campaign website, Hewitt lists his priorities as focusing on water policy, education and solving Califonia’s housing crisis.  


No Listed Party

James G. Hanink

A retired educator, running with no party preference. 


Michael Loebs

Michael Loebs is affiliated with the National Party. 


Jeremy Marciniak

Jeremy Marciniak is running with no party affiliation in the 2021 Gubernatorial Recall Election. Marciniak calls his campaign “Internet Only.” By utilizing a YouTube channel, Marciniak says he wants to avoid “high dollar” smear campaigns. 

“I entered office I will sell all my stocks and equities so I will not be swayed in any decision that I make my choices will always be in the best interest of the people not big money this is why my campaign is internet only to avoid the unnecessary spending on high dollar television advertising smear campaigns one of my main goals in office.” — Jeremy Marciniak, YouTube


Adam Papagan

With no prior political experience, Adam Papagan is running under no-party preference. His platform, according to his campaign website, lists five core topics: Stop The Wildfires, End Homelessness, Decrease the cost of Living, Tax Billionaires and Inform people about Government.  

Papagan made the recall ballot deadline over the holiday weekend on July 4, posting on social media that he would travel to anyone that was willing to sign the petition. In total, Papagan received 103 signatures.

“I’m a regular guy running for Governor of California in the 2021 Recall Election. I’m running because the politicians, celebrities, and millionaires who normally run for office are out of touch with the issues that face everyday Californians. My goal is to demystify the political process by sharing every step of the way what it takes to be a candidate.”


Major Singh

Born in Punjab, India, Major Singh has lived in California for 30 years. As a candidate with no party preference in the California Gubernatorial Recall Election, Singh’s campaign website indicates he is running to “Bring Back Quality of Life” to California. 

In order to do so, his priorities include encouraging COVID-19 vaccination using transparent education, not “gimmicks like a lottery.” In addition, he says he would work with cities to build reserves in hospitals for future surges. Singh, a software engineer by trade, believes that climate change is a real threat and that a green future, with sustainable technologies at the heart of the state’s infrastructure, is the only way forward.  

In terms of water sustainability, Singh suggests the state take realistic steps to research desalination plants and build more reservoirs for future water storage. Wildfire is also a topic of focus for Singh, who plans to get funding for more research and technology to control wildfires. 

Considering the social landscape calling for top-down changes in law enforcement, as seen in nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd, Singh said he is against funding the police, and supports law enforcement. His campaign website lists that he supports criminal justice reform, but gives no examples of what his vision for policies surrounding the topic would be. 



The Los Angeles-based model and singer is no stranger to putting her name in the hat for political positions. She ran for governor in 2003 and even ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 2009. She was also named honorary mayor of West Hollywood.

In a campaign video with her dog, Angelyne, 70, pleads her case for governor by saying that she and her dog “Buddah” will be “very good,” and eat pizza and chocolate. 

If elected, Angelyne believes that she can help Californians “rise to their higher self.”  


Kevin K. Kaul

Kevin Kaul is a businessman and real estate developer out of Long Beach. In an interview with the San Diego Tribune, he said he believes Gov. Newsom is “unpatriotic” for “shutting down California on Independence Day.” 

Kaul also said as governor he will end homelessness in three months by creating homes with 3D printers. 


Denis Lucey

Lucey is a substitute teacher from Santa Rosa whose gubernatorial priorities would include  “50% child custody rights to all competent parents, Native Californian involvement in all environmental issues,” and to “stop parental alienation and childhood divorce trauma.”


David Moore

Moore is a public school teacher in Emeryville. He is asking voters to vote “no” on the recall election, but is running as an alternative to Republican candidates, who he fears will overturn “minimal public health measures,” during the pandemic.


Dennis Richter

Richter ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 2017 and is a retail worker at Walmart. He opposes “wokeism” and “cancel culture” as well as military wars. If elected, he says he would prioritize getting workers back to work.

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