Forty-one candidates qualify for California gubernatorial recall

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced on July 17 that 41 candidates had qualified to run in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The list of candidates includes eight Democrats and 21 Republicans, among which are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose (R), and Caitlyn Jenner (R).

Before the July 16 filing deadline, 76 candidates had filed paperwork with Weber’s office stating their intention to run in the election. In the successful 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis (D), 135 candidates ran in the election. Mackenzie Mays of Politico speculated that the reduction in the number of candidates could be due both to the requirement that candidates share five years’ worth of tax returns and stabilization of Newsom’s political standing.

The recall election will present voters with two questions. The first will ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second will ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required. 

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall an incumbent California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled Davis and chose Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) as Davis’ replacement.