California’s next governor could be a retired homicide detective, a marijuana reform advocate or a former mayor. Maybe the job will filled by a social media influencer, a tech executive-turned-pastor or a 1976 Olympic champion. Candidates fitting those descriptions and many more are on a state list released Saturday of 41 people who filed the required paperwork to run in the Sept. 14 recall election that could remove first-term Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The lineup of candidates runs from the famous to the anonymous and includes 21 Republicans, eight Democrats, one Libertarian, nine independents and two Green Party members. The total number of candidates was smaller than many had expected — some predictions envisioned a parade of over 100 contenders on the ballot.
That could be a setback for recall supporters who had hoped for a large, prominent field to attract voters for the first, crucial question: Should Newsom be recalled, yes or no? If that question fails, the recall is over and Newsom remains in office, with the potential replacement candidates on the second ballot rendered irrelevant. If Newsom is recalled, then whoever on the list of potential replacements gets the most votes is the new governor of the nation’s most populous state.