Race for CA governor: Learn about the candidates who plan to unseat Newsom

There are a few days left to cast your votes in the recall election. And the campaign trail is heating up as many candidates plan to unseat California Governor Gavin Newsom. The state’s recall election is set for Sept. 14, 2021. There are 46 candidates on the ballot

The majority of candidates are from the Republican Party. Republicans are hoping for an upset in a heavily Democratic state where the GOP hasn’t won a statewide election since 2006.

The backgrounds of each candidate varies, their fields include business owners, lawyers, law enforcement personnel, educators, farmers, entertainers, broadcasters, and even a college student.

The most well-known candidates include transgender reality TV personality and former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner, conservative talk show host Larry Elder, businessman John Cox, and former mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer.

Below is a breakdown of each candidate. 

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Republican Party 

David Alexander Bramante: David Bramante was born and raised in Los Angeles. He is a real estate agent with over 16 years of experience. According to his website, if elected he plans to "end the State of Emergency immediately, open businesses and schools back up, make it so no one is required to get vaccinated or share their vaccine status, remove all masks mandates, and temporarily eliminate sales tax and gas tax."


David Alexander Bramante

John Cox: John Cox is a businessman, accountant, and developer. He is a self-proclaimed anti-politician. Cox ran against Newsom in the 2018 election. His main focus is on fighting the homeless crisis in the state by providing unhoused residents with treatment. He also plans to lower the cost of housing. On his website it states, "[Cox] will rip up the corruption from the roots to pass the beastly changes California needs."

Larry A. Elder: Larry Elder is a Conservative radio talk show host. He’s dubbed the "sage from South Central" on his website, a reference to the area of Los Angeles where he grew up. Elder said he decided to enter his first campaign after witnessing California’s out-of-control homeless crisis, spiking crime rates, looming water and power shortages, and whipsaw coronavirus lockdowns. His website reads, "I’m running for Governor because the decline of California isn’t the fault of its people."


Kevin L. Faulconer: Kevin Faulconer is a businessman and former Mayor of San Diego. Faulconer plans to eliminate state income taxes for certain Californians and combat the state’s ongoing homeless crisis. According to his website, Faulconer says he is running for governor to restore California’s promise of liberty, equality, and opportunity. He says Newsom’s unscientific lockdowns have devastated small businesses and Californians "want a change."

Rhonda Furin: Rhonda Furin was born and raised in Minnesota, she moved to California in 1996. She has been an educator all her life. As governor she plans to focus on education, bringing back the American dream and stopping socialism. On her website one of her goals reads, "Nancy Pelosi. Ihlan Omar. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Bernie Sanders. They’re all leading the charge to turn our country into a socialist dystopia. When I am Governor, I will swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic."


Rhonda Furin

Ted Gaines: Ted Gains was a senator for the 1st Senate District, he served on the California State Board of Equalization, and served the 4th State Assembly District from 2006 to 2011. As governor one of his main goals is to limit and defeat all new tax increases, this includes property tax, state tax and gas tax. According to his website, Gaines plans to repeal the state’s gas tax and use the state’s overflowing general fund to rebuild roads. He also plans to get homeless residents off the streets through ‘humane, mandatory treatment.' As governor, he also plans to "slash costly regulations and cap fees that push housing prices out of reach for young families."


Ted Gaines

Sam L. Gallucci: Sam Gallucci is a pastor at Embrace! Church in Oxnard and founder and CEO of The Kingdom Center. Gallucci entered the tech industry right after college and later became Executive Vice President and General Manager of PeopleSoft CRM. As governor, he plans to support small businesses by lowering taxes and removing certain regulations. He also plans to improve the quality of education for students and teachers. In terms of homelessness, he plans to create new housing opportunities along with education, medical and mental health treatment for the homeless. According to his website, his plans also include strategic deforestation to limit wildfires, eliminate power and water shortages, and provide help to migrant farmworkers.


Sam Gallucci 

David Hillberg: David Hillberg is an aircraft mechanic and actor from Fountain Valley. 

Caitlyn Jenner: Caitlyn Jenner is a gold medal Olympian, TV personality and LGBTQ activist. Her goals as governor include putting a stop to new and higher taxes, make housing affordable, and address the homeless crisis. "As Governor, I’ll work with local leaders to remove restrictions and revisit any regulation blocking developers, charities, and others interested in building affordable housing," it read on her website. In June, Jenner said if elected she will cut the salaries of California’s elected leaders in half. 

Kevin Kiley:  Kevin Kiley was elected to the California State Assembly in 2016. The lawmaker from California’s 6th District even released a book earlier this year called ‘Recall Newsom.' According to CalMatters, as governor, Kiley would work to root out the influence of wealthy interest groups in the Capitol and consider calling a special session of the Legislature to focus on education reform or housing affordability. In terms of homelessness, Kiley says offering shelter isn't enough and the state must provide mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, job training.

RELATED: AP: Recall candidate Kevin Kiley may emerge as a GOP leader

Chauncey "Slim" Killens: Chauncey Killens is a retired Correctional Officer from Hemet. In an interview with Political Truths832, Killens said he got the idea to run for governor while visiting the State Capitol, he says a group of soldiers told him to run for office. Killens says he has high morals and that career politicians are corrupt and they have abused, victimized and oppressed the people of California. 


Chauncey Slim Killens

Jenny Rae Le Roux: Jenny Rae Le Roux is a business owner, author, and strategic advisor. According to her website, she plans to bring data-driven solutions to California on her 1st day in office. As governor, she plans to reduce business fees, stop anti-business regulation and align business taxes with competitive states to incentivize businesses to build and grow in California. She also plans to create a strong public education system through STEM and make sure there is a "sufficient housing supply spurred by incentives, not regulations, to accelerate building," her website stated. 


Jenny Rae Le Roux

Steve Chavez Lodge: Steve Chavez Lodge is a retired homicide detective who worked with the Santa Ana Police Department. He is also a small business owner and served in the United States Army. Lodge served his community as a police commissioner, city budget commissioner, and waste management commissioner. As governor, he says he will not mandate masks or vaccines or impose lockdowns. "We are a free society. I will aggressively protect the rights of all individuals to make their own decisions for themselves and their families," Lodge said in a post online. On the issue of wildfires, he says forest and brushland management is paramount in preventing wildfires; that includes legal clearing of undergrowth in forests and the elimination and removal of brush around homes.


Steve Chavez Lodge

David Lozano: David Lozano is an attorney, former police officer for the City of Monterey Park, and former deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. As governor, Lozano plans to reduce housing costs, end homelessness, increase job opportunities, implement police reform, introduce 100% full healthcare coverage, eliminate high taxes and remove unnecessary state regulations. According to his website, his main reason for running is to end the state’s homeless crisis. He plans to provide temporary then permanent housing, food, clothing, and jobs to unhoused residents so they can ‘re-enter society.'


David Lozano

Diego Martinez: Diego Martinez is a businessman who immigrated to the US at the age of 6 from Uruguay. Martinez opened a bail bond business and automobile business in Northern California. As governor Martinez plans to eliminate sanctuary cities, not defund the police, and make sure lawbreakers are prosecuted. In terms of immigration, his plans include stopping illegal immigration, deport all undocumented criminals, give all undocumented individuals 6 months to report their status and finish building the wall, his website stated. He is also dedicated to ending the state’s homeless crisis and helping small businesses.


Diego Martinez

Daniel Mercuri: Daniel Mercuri is a business owner and former Congressional Candidate of California’s 25th District and honorably discharged United States Naval Veteran. As governor, he plans to minimize the sales tax by cutting it in half, roll back on AB 1253 and cut the wealthy tax by half. He also plans to propose a bill that will protect law-abiding citizens by becoming a more "Stand Your Ground State" and plans to loosen and expand the "Castle Law" to tie into the "Good Samaritan Law" for law-abiding citizens when a self-defense gun action has taken place in their home or on their property, his website stated. He also does not support defunding the police.


Daniel Mercuri

Robert C. Newman II: Robert Newman is a farmer and psychologist from Redlands.


Robert C. Newman

Doug Ose: On Aug. 17, former Republican Congressman Doug Ose announced he was dropping out of the special election for Governor of California, after suffering a heart attack.

RELATED: Doug Ose drops out California recall election citing health conditions

Ose is a life-long resident of Sacramento, small business owner and former 3-term member of the United States Congress with deep agricultural ties. Ose is widely recognized for his role in negotiating a resolution to the energy crisis in the early 2000s. 1. One of his main reasons for running for governor was to fix the homeless problem. His solutions included changing current state law to establish that individuals suffering from drug addiction and/or mental illness can be taken into protective custody, bring all 41 existing state homelessness programs under a single departmental authority and establish community care centers that can provide treatment for drug addiction and mental illness. With experience in the agriculture industry, Ose said he planned to build reservoirs north of the Sacramento River Delta and south of the Sacramento River Delta, as well as expand conveyance facilities and change regulations hindering water delivery.  


Doug Ose

Sarah Stephens: Sarah Stephens is a pastor, community leader, and motivational speaker from San Diego. She has also founded several non-profit organizations. According to her website, Stephens plans to make California "gold again"-- referring to the Gold Rush. As governor, she plans to lower taxes, cut regulations, and cut billions of dollars of spending to "unnecessary unproductive causes." She believes much of California's budget is wasted on useless projects. She believes the educational system needs to be reevaluated and redirected, she wants smaller class sizes for students and have parents choose their kid's school. 


Sarah Stephens

Denver Stoner: Denver Stoner is a Deputy Sheriff from Murphys, CA.

Joe M. Symmon: Joe Symmon is a community volunteer, born-again Christian and Conservative Republican. He plans to protect our constitution and family values. In a Facebook video, Symmon said as governor he plans to cut down on taxes and create jobs for all. As governor his goals include creating a safe and healthy school environment. He believes the state should implement CHAMPS and SEL throughout all California schools... "a proactive approach to classroom management" and teaching social and emotional learning (SEL) which provides students with important life skills. Symmon does not agree with defunding the police but says there are topics that need to be addressed like body cameras, law enforcement mental health, peaceful protests and the need for community-based involvement.  


Joe M. Symmon

Anthony Trimino: Anthony Trimino is an entrepreneur and CEO of his own company. He says as governor, he plans to reduce the tax burden imposed by previous administrations, enact policies that cut regulations, empower growth and stop companies from leaving California. He says if elected as governor he will not make vaccines mandatory and will ensure California never closes again and help small businesses. In terms of housing and homelessness, he says he will work with community leaders, non-profits and faith-based organizations to help get the homeless off the streets. 


Anthony Trimino

Nickolas Wildstar: Nickolas Wildstar is a musician and entrepreneur. In 2018 he ran for California governor and in 2020 ran for Mayor of Fresno. He says as governor he will tackle the issues of homelessness, high crime rates, tax burdens, lack of housing, and poor business conditions. According to his website, as governor, he plans to work towards eliminating business licensing fees, the need for occupational licenses, and alleviate tax burdens to create more jobs to bring businesses back.


Nickolas Wildstar

Leo S. Zacky: Leo Zacky is a businessman and farmer, he’s part of the family poultry dynasty known as Zacky Farms. He held the position of vice president at the time Zacky Farms closed permanently in 2018. He says businesses are fighting to survive in a "political environment that is toxic and sabotaging the whole state under Democrat leadership." According to his website, as Governor, Zacky plans to take a "dumpster dive into the corruption, mismanagement and political agendas that are driving out thousands of businesses and will take a stand to make California truly great again."


Leo Zacky

Democratic Party 

Holly L. Baade: Holly Baade is a business owner, spiritual teacher and coach. Baade is a Shaman at The Joyful Warrior Shaman School and was a former staff writer at the Sacramento Bee.  

John R. Drake: John Drake is a college student from Ventura, California. He immigrated to the US from Latvia at an early age. According to his website, Drake prides himself on his progressive values, social justice advocacy, and market-socialist economics. He plans to invest more in the infrastructure, education, and healthcare of communities of color. As governor, he plans to create more jobs, protect the environment and reform education.


John R. Drake 

Patrick Kilpatrick: Patrick Kilpatrick is an LA actor, screenwriter and producer. 


Patrick Kilpatrick

Jacqueline McGowan:  Jacqueline McGowan is a California native and 18-year Wall Street veteran with seven years of experience as a cannabis consultant and lobbyist. According to her website, she is running to facilitate a fair cannabis market that results in net economic benefits for all Californians and solidifies the state’s role as the epicenter of the cannabis industry.


Jaqueline McGowan

Kevin Paffrath: Kevin Paffrath is a financial educator, analyst and popular YouTuber known as MeetKevin. Paffrath spent much of his youth volunteering for his local police departments in Florida and California. According to his website, his plans for governor include housing all homeless with 60 days via ‘emergency powers’, reducing crime through community-style policing, financial help with education, make housing affordable and ending traffic with better roads.  


Kevin Paffrath

Armando "Mando" Perez-Serrato: Armando Perez-Serrato is a business owner from Orange County. As governor he plans to keep the state economy open 100%, lower gas prices by eliminating the gas tax, lower taxes, have a 0% income tax under $600K, have $5,000 California Tax Refund checks, and plans to introduce PerezHealth, a California universal health care system. According to his website, he also plans to make homeless encampments illegal and extreme drought by building a freshwater pipeline from Canada to California. 


Armando Perez-Serrato

Brandon M. Ross: Brandon Ross is an attorney and physician who established his own cosmetic surgery center. Ross is a recovering drug addict, one of his goals as governor would be to fight the opioid epidemic by spending money on education and outreach, and making free rehabilitative services available to everyone suffering from addiction. He also plans to increase public housing in order to drive down the cost of the housing market and help homeless residents get off the street. According to his website, he is in support of raising the minimum wage and eliminating state taxes on anyone making less than $150,000 per year.


Brandon Ross

Joel Ventresca: Joel Ventresca is an and retired airport analyst. His platform for running includes restoring, reinventing and reimagining California. His goals include enacting a high-quality healthcare and education system, raising the minimum wage to $16 an hour, end homelessness, poverty and mass incarceration with comprehensive programs. According to his website, he also plans to disempower the top 1% economic elite, empower nonviolent mass movements and reduce the gap between the rich and poor. 


Joel Ventresca

Daniel Watts: Daniel Watts is a free speech lawyer. Watts has argued appeals before California’s Fourth and Sixth District Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. He’s been the lawyer primarily responsible for dozens of anti-SLAPP motions and several anti-SLAPP appeals, according to his website. He says he is running for governor to support the First Amendment rights of college students. He is also in support of having affordable higher education for all. 


Daniel Watts via Instagram 

Green Party 

Heather Collins: Heather Collins is a business owner and hairstylist from Los Angeles.


Heather Collins

Dan Kapelovitz: Dan Kapelovitz is a criminal defense attorney and former judicial law clerk for the United States District Court for the Central District of California.


Jeff Hewitt: Jeff Hewitt is a business owner and politician; he served on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and spent most of his life in the Inland Empire. According to his website, Hewitt represents "old school Californians" and maintains social, community, and family values. He says as governor he will not "duck behind" consultants. He plans to root out bad behaviors in staff and administration.


Jeff Hewitt

No Party Preference

Angelyne: Angelyne is an entertainer. She ran in the 2003 recall election to replace Gray Davis. According to her website, her slogan is ‘We Must Party’ saying "The future of politics is now. The Angelyne Party establishes a new format of existence. The imagination of the citizen is what is at the forefront."



James G. Hanink: James Hanink is a retired educator from Inglewood who used to teach philosophy at Loyola Marymount University. He supports the "common good by finding common ground across California’s diverse citizenry, and using common sense." He is a member of the American Solidarity Party. According to his website, he supports localized government… where communities can decide for themselves instead of accepting state or federal values and decisions.


James Hanink

Kevin K. Kaul: Kevin Kaul is a real estate developer and the founder of the U.S. Global Business Forum.

Michael Loebs: Michael Loebs is a university lecturer in political science and organizer with the California National Party. He believes in ‘practical solutions, not ideology,’ according to his website. He is in support of universal basic income and negative income tax as well as Medi-Cal for all. He is also in support of government reform, with greater representation and local decision-making.


Michael Loebs

Denis Lucey: Denis Lucey is a teacher from Santa Rosa running with no party preference. 

Jeremiah "Jeremy" Marciniak: Jeremiah Marciniak is from Placer County and owns a rental car business.  

David Moore: David Moore is a public school teacher from Northern California. He is running as the Socialist Equality Party candidate.

Adam Papagan: Adam Papagan is an entertainer and calls himself "a regular guy" who is running for governor. His platform for running includes stopping wildfires, ending homelessness, decreasing the cost of living and taxing billionaires, according to his website. "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," it stated on his website. 


Adam Papagan

Dennis Richter: Dennis Richter is a retail store worker at Walmart and is the Socialist Workers Party candidate for governor. He ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2017.  

Major Singh: Major Singh is a software engineer running with no party preference.

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