Left Coast Right Watch

CALIFORNIA RECALL BALLOT DOMINATED BY FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS

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by WATERSPIDER AND DESERTBORDER

EDITOR'S NOTE : Waterspider has been filming the LA protest scene since last summer. Her Twitter is @waterspider__ and her Cashapp is $AWaterspider. Desertborder is an LA-based researcher who really, really hates fascism. You can find him on Twitter @desertborder. His Cashapp is $fuckgarcetti.

California governor Gavin Newsom, facing a recall election on September 14, often refers to the recall effort as a Republican power grab. He’s right—the recall got off the ground thanks to the tireless efforts of Proud Boys, QAnoners and Covid conspiracy theorists, and is heavily funded by MAGA money. But who are the actual candidates running against him?

Numerous roundups in California media have listed some basic information about each of the candidates, but they generally just let the candidates provide whatever information they want. Media outlets have not looked deeper at the full list of candidates. Media Matters checked the candidates for open QAnon affiliation, but didn’t go beyond that to look for other far-right views. California punditry powerhouse CalMatters referred to racist conspiracy theorist and Proud Boy associate Daniel Mercuri as a “regular Joe.” The LA Times has aggressively covered Larry Elder’s far-right views, but they also (to take one small example) described antimasker and Mike Cernovich fan Kevin Kiley by writing “The Rocklin assemblyman is a proponent of school choice and opposes mask and vaccine mandates.” (To its credit, the LA Times asked candidates if they believe Biden was “lawfully elected president,” providing a useful metric to assess candidates’ far-right views. But not all of the candidates participated in the Times’ survey, and the paper does not appear to have checked those that didn’t for far-right views in their roundup of all 46 candidates.)

This article is the first attempt to systematically check each of the candidates for far-right sympathies. What makes each candidate far-right is a little different, but almost all of the candidates we’ve categorized as far-right express belief in extremist conspiracy theories. Some of them pal around with Proud Boys and Capitol rioters, one of them is himself a Capitol rioter. At least two candidates have proposed placing the state’s entire homeless population in concentration camps (they don’t use the term “concentration camps,” of course, but their meaning is clear). Any candidate that denies the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s election is automatically far-right; on the other hand, opposing vaccine mandates does not, to our mind, make a person far-right on its own, absent a professed belief in vaccine- or Covid-related conspiracy theories.

We found that at least 29 of the 46 candidates have professed far-right beliefs, though it’s possible we missed something among the 17 we concluded were not far right. Read on for more information about each of the candidates, starting with the frontrunners.

SIX OUT OF SIX FRONTRUNNERS EXPRESS FAR RIGHT VIEWS

Who is and is not a frontrunner is by necessity a little arbitrary. Depending on the poll, some of these candidates may or may not break five percent, for example, and there are candidates we didn’t classify as frontrunners that have sometimes outpolled some of those listed here. We chose frontrunners based on the candidates that are typically named in news stories about recall polls, which we admit is an unscientific method.

However “frontrunner” is defined, though, it’s clear that Larry Elder is in the lead — no other candidate even comes close in most polls. The latest Fivethirtyeight average of polls has Elder beating the second runner up, Kevin Paffrath, by more than ten points. This is a problem because Elder is a full-on fascist who consistently professes hatred for women, immigrants, the poor and any number of other marginalized groups. Gavin Newsom is not wrong when he says Elder is “to the right of Trump.”

But even if Elder, by some miracle, doesn’t get the most votes of a recall candidate, any of the other five frontrunners would be a disaster. This includes the only Democrat frontrunner, Kevin Paffrath, a “landlord influencer” who proposes a fascist solution to the homelessness crisis. Read on to learn more about the horrors that await California if the recall passes.

Photo of Larry Elder

Name: Larry A. Elder

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Broadcaster/Author

Far-right views: Elder has a 30-year track record as a radio host of spewing vile misogyny and boosting open white nationalists. He’s pushed vaccine conspiracies and he mentored Stephen Miller, the architect of Trump’s racist immigration policies. He wants to eliminate the minimum wage altogether. To top it off, Elder’s ex-fiancee says he threatened her with a gun. Elder is as far-right as they come, and he’s by far the most likely candidate to replace Newsom if the recall is successful.

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Name: Kevin Paffrath

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: Financial Educator/Analyst

Far-right views: Paffrath bills himself as a Democrat, but his campaign revolves around an outright fascist proposal to use the National Guard to round up every unhoused person in the state and place them into concentration camps. He proposes creating 80 concentration camps (he calls them “Modern Emergency Facilities”) and, within 60 days of becoming governor, force every single unhoused person into California into them, where they will be fed, clothed and housed for a cost of $10-15 per day per person. On his campaign website, he claims the camps will be optional. But he immediately contradicts himself by claiming 98 percent of unhoused people will voluntarily enter the camps, and the remaining two percent will be forcibly placed into psych wards. Paffrath promises that if he’s elected “NO homeless person will sleep on the streets of California after 60 days,” because they will have all been transferred to the camps and psych wards. Paffrath could plausibly become the next governor — he’s the only candidate that’s outperformed Larry Elder in the polls since early June.

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Name: John Cox

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Businessman/Accountant/Father

Far-right views: Cox, a millionaire slumlord who ran as a Trumper against Newsom in the last gubernatorial race, promoted an antisemitic stolen-election conspiracy theory in an interview with SF Gate. In April, Cox told the outlet, “In 2018, you had Democrat turnout supercharged by [Tom] Steyer, [Mike] Bloomberg and [George] Soros with all the ballot harvesting, so it was a tough environment for any Republican.” Blaming “ballot harvesting” for Republican losses in overwhelmingly blue California is a conspiracy-theory mainstay for the far right, and blaming George Soros for it adds a classic callback to the “Jewish puppet master” conspiracy theory. Cox also tortures a live bear as a campaign stunt, and was hilariously served with a lawsuit while onstage at a recall debate after allegedly failing to pay his debts from his last gubernatorial campaign. Cox is one of the top contenders in the crowded field, often polling better than any other candidate besides Elder (which isn’t necessarily saying much, as Cox usually comes in at six or seven percent).

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Name: Kevin L. Faulconer

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Businessman/Educator

Far-right views: Faulconer is running as a moderate Republican. But as mayor of San Diego, he promoted a QAnon-spawned conspiracy theory, falsely claiming that Gavin Newsom had legalized pedophilia. At the time that Faulconer was promoting the theory, it was driving Q adherents to send death threats en masse to openly-gay State Senator Scott Wiener, who the Q believers accused of supporting pedophilia. Faulconer is considered a frontrunner in the campaign, but he’s still a longshot, typically polling around five percent.

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Name: Caitlyn Jenner

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Businessperson/Entrepreneur

Far-right views: Jenner, who despite being trans holds anti-trans views, refuses to say whether the election was stolen or not. She promises to end all Covid restrictions on day one, and wants to build Trump’s wall on the California border. She regularly retweets far-right extremists and conspiracy outlets like OANN, and has repeatedly promoted far-right conspiracy theories, for example asserting that “it’s legal to steal” in San Francisco. Jenner literally believes that—in July, she retweeted a claim that California prosecutors are barred from prosecuting thefts under $950 (fact check: false). Despite her massive name recognition, Jenner is not doing very well in the polls, usually coming in at around two percent support.

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Name: Kevin Kiley

Party: Republican

Listed profession: California Legislator

Far-right views: California State Assemblymember Kevin Kiley is an anti-masker who believes any and all Covid restrictions are unconstitutional, and has promised to immediately end them if elected governor. Kiley has touted support from LA boutique clothing store Kitson, famous for displaying Fauci and Hunter Biden conspiracy theory posters in its windows. He sued the state to stop mail-in voting during the pandemic, taking the case all the way to the California Supreme Court. And he’s attracted support from, and retweeted, harcore conspiracy theorists including Pizzagate promoter Mike Cernovich. Kiley is currently polling around 5 percent, putting him towards the front of the pack.

23 FAR-RIGHT FRINGE CANDIDATES

These are the far-right candidates that have no chance of getting elected. Most polls don’t even ask about them by name — everyone except the front-runners are often lumped together as candidates that don’t draw enough support to name in the results. That doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous, however. For example, fringe candidate Sarah Stephens served as the getaway driver for a fascist who assaulted a journalist, and fringe candidates Anthony Trimino and David Alexander Bramante helped promote a large antivaxx rally in LA that devolved into a Proud Boy riot. Read on for more information on each of the 23 fringe candidates that are firmly far right.

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Name: Holly L. Baade

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: Mother/Business Owner

Far-right views: Like Paffrath, Baade is running as a Democrat but is unmistakably far right. She believes the election was stolen from Trump, that Covid is “no deadlier than the flu,” and that climate change is “a geo-engineered terraform of our planet to steal more resources and enslave free people.” She also promises to prosecute any politician that enforced Covid regulations.

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Name: Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: No Ballot Designation

Far-right views: Another far-right Democrat, Perez-Serrato highlights his own Mexican ancestry while spewing hate speech towards undocumented immigrants. In a Q&A with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Perez-Serrato accused immigrants of spreading disease, telling the paper “As long as infected foreigners keep coming into California, this pandemic will not end for us.” This is, of course, pure bigotry — immigrants play no role in the US’s sky-high Covid rates. In the same interview, Perez-Serrato makes clear that he does not care about Covid, claiming that he will “maintain our constitutional freedoms with the economy, businesses and schools open 100%.” Perez-Serrato also promoted a bizarre conspiracy theory about homelessness, claiming that Newsom has “recently invited the hundreds of thousands of homeless people from all 50 states to come to California.” On a wackier note, he proposed ending the wildfire problem with a giant network of sprinklers, and told the Union-Tribune he opposes any gun regulations because “I’m a Mandalorian, weapons are part of my religion.”

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Name: Doug Ose

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Farmer/Small Businessman

Far-right views: Ose, one of the richest people ever to serve in Congress, is an anti-tax extremist above all else, dedicating a significant portion of his public life to reducing his own tax burden. His anti-tax ideology, while extreme, may not be enough to qualify him as far-right, but Ose also proposed an Andrew Yang-style fascist solution to homelessness. He plans to open a new network of courts that will be empowered to unilaterally declare people “mentally ill” and then incarcerate them indefinitely. He also inexplicably claims that the United States is currently at war with China, though he does admit “we’re not shooting bullets yet.” Ose recently dropped out of the race due to a heart attack, though he’s still on the ballot, and endorsed fellow far-right extremist Kevin Kiley.

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Name: David Alexander Bramante

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Realtor/Multifamily Developer

Far-right views: Bramante is a hardcore antivaxx conspiracy theorist who pals around with open fascists. He promoted the August 14 antivaxx rally at LA City Hall, which ended in a far-right riot, as Proud Boys and antivaxxers assaulted at least four journalists, stabbed someone repeatedly in the back, and split a woman’s head open with a water bottle, while one antivaxxer was stabbed by a counter protester as well. The fascist violence didn’t deter Bramante in the least, as he was a featured speaker at an antivaxx rally in Santa Monica two weeks later, pictured on the flyer along with Capitol rioters Tony Moon and Siaka Massaquoi.

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Name: Rhonda Furin

Party preference: Republican

Listed profession: Nonprofit President

Far-right views: Furin, who failed her bid for Congress last year, was featured as a QAnon-believing candidate in a Media Matters For America roundup of QAnoners running for governor in various states in 2021 and 2022. She has tweeted the QAnon slogan “WWG1WGA” dozens of times. Frighteningly, she claims to have worked as a teacher in both public and private schools, writing on her website that she “has taught every single grade level in both areas including all subject matters.”

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Name: David Hillberg

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Aircraft Mechanic/Actor

Far-right views: In a field crowded with conspiracy theorists, Hillberg stands out for having a conspiracy theory on EVERYTHING, and he often manages to toss some racism in, to boot. On Covid: “Why worry about this biological weapon from China?” On education: “none of this CRT and liberal crap.” On climate change: “The climate crisis is a construct. The native American Indians know the long path seasons (not just your four).” On criminal justice: “George Floyd was a pawn, just like the corrupt media.” LCRW would probably recommend against hiring him to work on your airplane.

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Name: Chauncey “Slim” Killens

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Retired Correctional Officer

Far-right views: This dude is literally a Capitol rioter.

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Name: Steve Chavez Lodge

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Retired Homicide Detective

Far-right views: Lodge, a former cop, doesn’t believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected president. He wants to jail the homeless (apparently all of them, he’s not really clear on that). On his website, he rails against sanctuary cities, claiming that they’re “protecting convicted violent criminals” (fact check: false.) His Instagram is full of Covid-denier content and blatant racism (like a picture of a group of Hispanic men in jail uniforms, with a caption asking “Do you think these released violent felons are returning to Beverly Hills, Malibu or Silicon Valley?”) Oh, and his wife was on Real Housewives of Orange County.

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Party: Republican

Listed profession: Executive Officer/Attorney

Far-right views: Like Paffrath, ex-Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy David Lozano advocates a fascist solution to the homelessness crisis, proposing to relocate every unhoused person in the state to one of three concentration camps he wants to build around California. In response to a Voter’s Edge questionnaire, Lozano made it clear he means to forcibly round up every unhoused person in the state, saying “every homeless person that lies on our streets today… will be gently lifted off our streets and placed in a safe and secure environment, so that our sidewalks, parks, beaches, bridges, underpasses, freeways and roadways will be free, clear and clean for all citizens of California.” He’s also an antimasker, vowing to “remove these masks and get our State back to a pre-Covid environment.”

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Name: Diego Martinez

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Businessman

Far-right views: Martinez is a Stop the Stealer who wants to build the wall. He also says he “will tell the “Identity Politics Warriors and Social Justice Warriors” that they’re barking up the wrong tree, that California is not “racist,” and he will “make the teaching of CRT or any other divisive Marxist, Socialist propaganda off limits in California school K-12.” He’s an antivaxx Trump supporter who, according to a local news story, believes “crime, chaos and riots have run rampant because politicians were “weak” on Black Lives Matter protests.”

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Name: Daniel Mercuri

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Father/Business Owner

Far-right views: Qanon

Daniel Mercuri is a far-right Qanon candidate who associates with Proud Boys and white supremacists. Mercuri promoted a #PatriotsAgainstPedophilia (a Qanon hashtag still used today) event in July. On his website, Mercuri promotes the same QAnon conspiracy theory as Faulconer, claiming that the state legislature somehow legalized pedophilia, and singled out state legislator Scott Wiener, who was inundated with death threats as a result of the theory. He’s also a climate change denier and wildfire truther, writing “Summer heat waves are a normal natural occurrence in California during the same time and season every year, which begs the question if natural wildfires or planned wildfires occur to push an agenda.” And of course, he’s a Covid conspiracy theorist, writing “Why the rush to a vaccine, when Covid-19 has a death toll less than that of influenza compared to the last two years?”

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Name: Robert C. Newman II

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Farmer/Psychologist

Far-right views: Christian fundamentalist Robert Newman is an anti-abortion extremist who insists on his website that “The unborn are being sacrificed to the god of mammon.” He’s as hardline as they come on immigration, arguing that even unaccompanied minors should be immediately deported, and he believes the election was stolen from Donald Trump.

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Name: Sarah Stephens

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Pastor

Far-right views: Stephens is a hardcore QAnoner who acted as the getaway driver for violent fascist Aaron Simmons after he hit journalist Rocky Romano in the head with a club. LCRW has covered Stephens in depth here.

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Name: Denver Stoner

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Deputy Sheriff

Far-right views: Alpine County Sheriff’s Deputy Denver Stoner not only wants to outlaw abortion, he manages to be racist while talking about it, declaring “All lives matter, including those of the unborn child.” He wants to build the wall in California and he’s against any kind of police reform whatsoever, claiming that there’s no police brutality in California (fact check: false). He also dogwhistles to hardcore antivaxxers, proclaiming on his website that “Californians are united in their recognition and concern over the COVID-19 virus. There are risks to the new vaccines, as well.”

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Name: Joe M. Symmon

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Community Volunteer

Far-right views: Symmon is a Christian dominionist who wants to impose a christofascist government on the state. The issues page of his website reads like a Christian-right fever dream, peddling election conspiracy theories, referring to abortion as “genocide” and railing against the Satanic Marxist plot of Critical Race Theory. He opposes gay marriage and thinks that marijuana is to blame for the rise in homelessness.

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Name: Anthony Trimino

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Entrepreneur/CEO

Far-right views: Antivaxx conspiracy theorist Anthony Trimino spoke at the LA City Hall fascist riot on August 14. He’s also spoken at an event organized by Let Them Breathe, the dark-money antimasker group that’s been disrupting school boards up and down the state. He was most recently seen promoting an event with Carmen Estel, girlfriend of christofascist street gang leader Joey Gibson.

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Name: Nickolas Wildstar

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Musician/Entrepreneur/Father

Far-right views: Wildstar, a far-right “raptivist”, has repeatedly tweeted the QAnon slogan WWG1WGA. He vaguely threatened anti-government violence in a Q&A with the San Diego Union-Tribune, telling the paper “Californians now fear that if [Newsom] were to stay in office that at some point they themselves will be told they must get vaccinated and that is a threat they are ready to fend off however necessary.” To top it off, he professes belief in weird, Larouche-esque conspiracies about the Queen of England.

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Name: Leo S. Zacky

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Businessman/Farmer

Far-right views: Zacky is hardcore conspiracy theorist, claiming on his website that “the COVID-19 pandemic is part of a global plan being orchestrated by the World Economic Forum.” He rails against Critical Race Theory and “pornographic sex education.” Unsurprisingly, he also believes the election was stolen.

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Name: Heather Collins

Party: Green

Listed profession: Business Owner/Hairstylist

Far-right views: Anti-vax Green Party candidate Heather Collins is unvaccinated, but, like most antivaxxers, doesn’t like to be called an antivaxxer. She left blank a question on an LA Times survey about whether any vaccines, including polio and smallpox, should be mandatory. She thinks it was wrong to ever impose any kind of Covid restrictions, likely because her own hair salon suffered financially from the early shutdowns. An immigrant herself, Collins is an anti-immigrant hardliner, declaring “While no human is illegal, their status may be.”

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Name: Jeff Hewitt

Party: Libertarian

Listed profession: Riverside County Supervisor

Far-right views: Libertarian Jeff Hewitt is an anti-masker who spoke at a reopen rally at the height of the pandemic. In September of last year, he unsuccessfully tried to push his fellow Riverside County Supervisorsto ignore the state’s Covid regulations and illegally reopen. Hewitt was sued for sexual harassment while working in his capacity as a Riverside County Supervisor, and the county paid out $50,000 to settle the claim. He was then sued a second time for age discrimination and “making disparaging and vulgar comments.” That suit is still ongoing.

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Name: James G. Hanink

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Retired Educator

Far-right views: Hanink, a member of the Christian Dominionist American Solidarity Party, is running as an independent, blending some progressive stances with far-right antivaxx conspiracy theories and a hardline anti-abortion stance. Hanink isn’t vaccinated because he falsely believes “the current vaccines involve the use of cell lines from aborted babies.” On his website he declares “To protect the lives of the unborn, the American Solidarity Party is working for the overturn of Roe v Wade.” He also makes clear he wants to legalize discrimination against LGBT people, writing that he would “Introduce laws that protect religious institutions, small businesses, and private individuals from civil or criminal liability for refusing to participate in activities contrary to their belief in marriage as a secure union of one man and one woman.” Hanink is clearly trying to draw some liberals into the ASP’s extremist belief system, as he also professes support for police reform, affordable housing and stronger action against climate change.

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Name: Kevin K. Kaul

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Real Estate Developer

Far-right views: A former Lieutenant in the Indian Navy, as well as the founder of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Indo-American Advisory Council, Kaul believes that climate change is “a hoax” and that Newsom “is unpatriotic because he shut down California last year on Independence Day.” He also wants to seal the borders.

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Name: Denis Lucey

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Teacher

Far-right views: A teacher in Santa Rosa City Schools, Lucey has been a Men’s Rights Activist since at least 2013, when he wrote a letter to Barack Obama proclaiming “Today, Black Americans can’t be forced to sit in the rear of buses; however, millions of children still watch as one parent is forced into the rear of the family court bus in every state of the union.” According to the LA Times, Lucey doesn’t plan to actually win the race, but is running “to gain publicity for his proposed ideas for changing family laws and divorce laws in the state.” He believes the recall was justified because “church closures were unconstitutional,” and he’s unsurprisingly against abortion.

17 CANDIDATES THAT AREN’T FAR-RIGHT (AS FAR AS WE KNOW)

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Name: Sam L. Gallucci

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Pastor/CEO/Consultant

Far-right views: Gallucci, a Republican, is notably to the left of many Democrats in the race, insofar as he doesn’t seem to promote Covid conspiracy theories and there’s no evidence we could find that he holds fascist beliefs or supports the Capitol riot. His platform is pretty mainstream, and he even includes a plank supporting the rights of migrant workers. He’s a pastor at the 10,000-member Calvary Community Church outside of LA, which actually complied with Covid orders, unlike many other megachurches in California.

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Name: Jacqueline McGowan

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: Cannabis Policy Advisor

Platform: McGowan has not expressed far-right views, as far as we can tell. She supports mask mandates, legalizing sex work and ending the war on drugs. She also says Larry Elder’s security guys physically assaulted her when she tried to challenge Elder to a debate, which is very believable given everything we know about Elder. She does, however, oppose vaccine mandates, including for smallpox and polio.

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Name: John R. Drake

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: College Student

Platform: Drake describes himself as a “progressive democrat” and advocates for pro-choice policies, affordable public housing, and higher pay for teachers. His qualifications for the governor’s job leave a bit to be desired, as he’s a recent community college grad with no relevant experience.

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Name: Joel Ventresca

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: Retired Airport Analyst

Platform: Ventresca, a former environmental commissioner in San Francisco, is a pretty standard progressive Democrat. He’s in favor of increasing funding to the police, as well as stronger environmental regulations and higher taxes on the rich. He criticizes Newsom from the left for issues ranging from corruption to support for fracking.

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Name: Angelyne

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Entertainer

Platform: Angelyne’s platform is pretty out there, but she’s not far right. She proposes instituting a statewide “Bubble Bath Day,” as well as an official masquerade ball, ending mandatory jury duty and repopulating otters on the coast. More comprehensibly, she also wants to decriminalize sex work, institute a three-strikes rule for cops accused of misconduct, facilitate social workers and long-term housing for homeless people using funding from religious institutions, utilize public spaces like parks for unhoused people until they can be given housing, and free everyone incarcerated on marijuana charges.

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Name: Ted Gaines

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Board of Equalization Member

Platform: Gaines, while certainly right-wing, is fairly normie. He’s in favor of forced services for unhoused people, but doesn’t go as far as Paffrath or Ose. He’s against defunding the police and is an alarmist about crime, immigration and prison reform. He’s also against any further Covid restrictions. But as far as we can tell, he doesn’t say openly racist things, he doesn’t promote conspiracy theories and he doesn’t pal around with Capitol stormers, so we’re calling him regular right, not far right.

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Name: Dennis Richter

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Retail Store Worker

Platform: Richter is a member of the authoritarian-left Socialist Workers’ Party. Many parts of his platform are genuinely progressive, including amnesty for undocumented workers and a mass public-works project to replace California’s privately-owned power companies. Richter does express some right-wing views: he’s against defunding the police, for example, and he believes churches should have been exempt from Covid regulations. Still, he’s not far right by any stretch of the imagination.

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Name: Major Singh

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Software Engineer

Platform: Singh blends some liberal and conservative views, supporting affordable health care and efforts to combat climate change while opposing defunding the police and statewide mask mandates. He’s not far right, but he does want to “Reduce the impression that college is for partying,” so that’s kind of a bummer.

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Name: Brandon M. Ross

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: Physician/Attorney

Platform: Ross, a physician and an attorney, is a middle-of-the-road Democrat. He wants to raise taxes on the rich, increase investment in public transportation and extend protections for DACA recipients. He’s against vaccine mandates, but doesn’t spread conspiracy theories. He thinks police brutality can be solved by banning chokeholds and he bragged about his efforts to fight climate change by “driv[ing] an energy-efficient BMW X5 that gets over 30 miles per gallon.”

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Name: Dan Kapelovitz

Party: Green

Listed profession: Criminal Defense Attorney

Platform: Kapelovitz, an attorney and former editor for Hustler magazine, supports traditional Green Party issues like ending fracking and increasing the use of renewable energy. He’s in favor of defunding police and against the criminalization of homelessness, and he wants to end all cooperation with ICE. He told the LA Times he’s against all vaccine mandates, including polio and smallpox, but he doesn’t seem to have ever promoted vaccine conspiracy theories.

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Name: Michael Loebs

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: University Lecturer

Platform: Loebs, a lecturer in political science at San Francisco State University, is a member of the California National Party, a sort of anti-federalist party that calls for the return of all federal land to California and “independence for the California Republic with the consent of the United States.” Despite the sovereign-citizenish secessionist belief system, Loebs and the CNP support a progressive vision for the future, including protection for undocumented immigrants, Medicare for All and a right to housing for unhoused people.

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Name: Jeremiah “Jeremy” Marciniak

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: None (No Ballot Designation)

Platform: Marciniak doesn’t have a lot of written information online about his platform, so it’s kind of hard to tell what he actually believes. In a short LA Times blurb, he’s described as “[seeing] the recall election as an opportunity for an everyday citizen, such as himself, to become involved in the lawmaking process.” He did say in a YouTube video that children “should take a yearly course in dealing with authority,” i.e. how to listen to the cops better. Yikes! Still, we didn’t find enough information to categorize him as far right so we’re going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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Name: David Moore

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Public School Teacher

Platform: Moore is a leftist public school teacher and a member of the Socialist Equality Party who opposes the recall, supports open borders, and accurately identifies the police as “an occupying force” in our neighborhoods.

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Name: Daniel Watts

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: Free Speech Lawyer

Platform: Watts is a free-speech lawyer who supports the free-speech rights of far-right figures and groups, and worked on a successful lawsuit to defend the free-speech rights of right-wing student newspaper at UC San Diego. However, Watts himself is not far-right and most of the free-speech issues he tweets about pertain to left-wing speech, not right-wing speech. He also supports free college, and accidentally tricked Twitter into verifying a Cormac McCarthy parody account he created.

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Name: Patrick Kilpatrick

Party: Democratic

Listed profession: Actor/Screenwriter/Producer

Platform: Kilpatrick is a right-wing Democrat in the Buttigieg/Harris/Biden mold, but he’s not far right. He believes in tough-on-crime policies and funding the police, as well as “secure borders” and a path to citizenship. He supports LGBT rights and reproductive rights and a Buttigieg-style not-quite-Medicare-for-All plan. He also wrote a memoir called “Dying for Living: Sins & Confessions of a Hollywood Villain & Libertine Patriot,” featuring a shirtless picture of himself on the cover.

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Name: Jenny Rae Le Roux

Party: Republican

Listed profession: Business Owner/Mother

Far-right views: Le Roux is definitely right-wing, but we didn’t find evidence of her sliding into conspiracy territory or promoting fascism. She’s against vaccine mandates, but says she’s fully vaccinated. She wants to “secure the border” and end any sanctuary-state policies, but she’s not a climate-change denier and she’s open to some criminal-justice reform. She did attend an event with Sarah Stephens and Anthony Trimino, but we’re going to give her the benefit of the doubt.

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Name: Adam Papagan

Party: No Party Preference

Listed profession: Entertainer

Platform: Papagan is a liberal prankster who’s running for governor as a stunt, documenting each step of the process on his Instagram page. He’s against police militarization, for open borders and wants to implement vaccine mandates and tough measures against climate change. His Twitter is pretty funny, too.

HONORABLE MENTION: GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM

screenshot of ballot form that says For Additional Information Please Contact Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom and the website stop the republican recall dot com

It was Newsom’s arrogance and selfishness that got us into this mess in the first place. Few doubt that the recall would even be happening if Newsom hadn’t been photographed breaking his own COVID rules at one of the most expensive restaurants in the state while attending a large maskless dinner for a fracking lobbyist’s birthday. To make matters worse, Newsom refused to support a Democrat to run to replace him in case he loses, meaning that if he’s recalled, we’ll almost certainly be stuck with Larry Elder. His handling of the pandemic was objectively ridiculous, featuring surprise reopening after surprise reopening, and he veered sharply to the right in response to the recall, going so far as to personally participate in the destruction of homeless encampments. LCRW is urging our California readers to vote “No” on the recall in order to stave off a fascist takeover of the state (for information on how to vote click here), but never forget that all of this is Newsom’s fault.

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