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CAGOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson. (Photo: CAGOP)

California GOP Announces Recall Candidate Endorsement Vote

Party, candidates divided on wanting to choose an official Republican candidate

By Evan Symon, July 26, 2021 3:09 pm

The California Republican Party (CAGOP) approved an endorsement vote  process to potentially select an official candidate in the California Governor Recall Election during the weekend.

Kevin Faulconer at Sacramento press conference. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

CAGOP delegates will vote virtually on August 7th to vote for one of the several dozen Republicans who made the ballot, which includes notable candidates such as 2018 GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox, radio host Larry Elder, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, state Board of Equalization member Ted Gaines, former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), and former Congressman Doug Ose.

The party largely approved of holding a vote during the Saturday meeting, with CAGOP chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson saying that a transparent vote on the matter was the best way to decide on a possible endorsement.

“I have consistently called for a fair, transparent process that would allow our party to go into the recall election united and strong with a decision to endorse a candidate or a decision not to endorse,” said Patterson in a statement on Saturday.

Many candidates, such as Faulconer, have also come out in favor of the party selecting an official candidate over a month before the election, saying that an intra-party argument would only help Gavin Newsom beat the recall and be in a better position in 2022.

“Having an intra-party Republican fight over the next two weeks does nothing but benefit Gavin Newsom,” explained Faulconer campaign manager Stephen Puetz during the weekend. “Even if one person emerges, the net result is it’s much less likely Newsom gets recalled because it negatively impacts Republican intensity.”

Many also argued that a “united” candidate could receive GOP funds, have more access to party resources, and generally bring out a more widespread campaign.

Division over an official party endorsement

However, some candidates have objected to the party selecting a candidate outright. Many feel that Faulconer is the candidate favored most by established party members and that picking a candidate now would only hurt momentum of voters across the state in voting in the recall by hurting grassroots movements.

“Now the California Republican Party wishes to change their own rules to help Kevin Faulconer. Hypocrisy,” tweeted John Cox on Sunday. “With weeks until the recall, changing the party endorsement rules to favor Faulconer is the type of corrupt machine politics every Republican opposes.

“Trickery. Political scheming. Moving the goalposts… I’m calling out the insiders at the CAGOP, just as I have the California Democrats. The voters are sick and tired of both of you. Changing the rules at this point is a slap in the face to the grassroots activists who made this recall happen. It wasn’t the CAGOP. It was insiders who gathered the signatures, who knocked on the doors. It was the grassroots. Today, I stand with them and NOT the political insiders.

“I am rejecting this backdoor deal because I don’t want the insiders to dampen the enthusiasm of the grassroots and drive down turnout. I want the activists and independents and all those who believe California must be saved to know that there is someone fighting for them.”

Political experts noted that an endorsement could also have an effect on the 2022 gubernatorial election.

“The endorsement could also create a favorite for next year,” explained former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe on Monday. “The party picking someone in a few weeks, and then that candidate having a good showing on election day, well, that can mean a possible favorite going in, especially if Newsom just barely squeaks by and the endorsed candidate gets a large percentage. Polls have shown that the majority of voters wouldn’t vote for Newsom in 2022 and want someone new. So this endorsement can have some long-term political effects here.”

The endorsement vote is due to take place on August 7th, only three days after the first recall candidate debate. For a candidate to be chosen officially by the party, they will need at least 60% of the delegates votes.

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24 thoughts on “California GOP Announces Recall Candidate Endorsement Vote

  1. CAGOP absolutely must endorse a candidate. It will be interesting to see how Larry Elder fares in this process.

  2. The Ca GOP needs to stay out of the recall.
    Right now, its truly nonpartisan. Its the people vs. Gavin Newsom and his arbitrary reign of terror and the people will vote on the issues and not on party preference. If the CA GOP endorses a candidate that will be the death knell to our recall effort.
    Ca GOP Stay Out Of Our Recall.

    1. Another dumb idea from the CAGOP. If they push anything it should be YES on RECALL GAVIN.
      Not sure they have much influence these days anyway —– they’ve neglected to come through for us in this state for a L-O-N-G time now when they could have made a difference by funding candidates, registering voters, and defining themselves as Republicans; that is, SEPARATE and DIFFERENT from Dems.
      Guess we’ll see what they do, and if it seems to have any impact on this grassroots effort made possible by hard-working, persistent, determined volunteers who represented the actual People of the State of California in the magnificent petition drive that put this on the ballot.

  3. I understand the arguments. To me, if the party affiliation ( Dem, Rep., Green, Peace& Freedom, etc)
    Is on the ballot then each party should have a say in who the Party supports. If there is such designation it shouldn’t matter. an endorsement means they have that party’s favor and why. If you are afraid of the party endorsement why have a party?

    1. I’m not voting for a party. I’m voting for the person i feel will best represent the people. I don’t want the CAGOP sticking thrir nose in where it’s not wanted or needed. No matter who they endorse ( probably a career politician) i will still vote for “my candidate.”

  4. Ahhh…time for the CAGOP machine to fire up its “payback machine” and reward party apparatchiks for their loyalty and fealty to the Party…
    Light those stogies and let’s have a good old smoke filled room session, shall we???

    Who wants to lay odds that RINO Kevin Faulconer emerges from said smoke-filled room with the nod for his loyal service to the country club conservative donor class, who employ illegal aliens to “maximize shareholder value” and outsource production to China as the “low cost provider”…

    Watching this one closely, and if it goes as I suspect it does, I will re-register as an Independent…. It’s the only remaining recourse I have…

  5. Why pick one? Pick the top 3 or 4 and let the voters select from there. If you pick the wrong one and lose a lot of voters you run the risk of Newsom keeping his job. If you select 4, you will draw more voters so we can oust Newsom. That’s the priority here; not the replacement candidates. Let’s say you pick someone that 40% of the voters don’t like? The voters stay home and Newsom wins. But pick 4 and you draw in the cumulative total of voters who are for each of those four. Remember! We need 51% to oust Newsom and whoever has the highest number of votes as his replacement wins so give us more choices. They can all fight it out again for the top spot in the 2022 election.

    1. Robert, that’s the best strategy for the grassroots recall voters or just not endorsing any one candidate; BUT the CaGOP wants it’s candidate to be THE one in 2022. So, Schultz is right, I think. They want the advantage to be for their chosen 2022 candidate (most likely Faulconer) in the recall. It’s a perverse strategy.

      1. …in other words Robert, CaGOP is banking on Newsom winning the recall (he’s ahead right now in the polls) so that THEIR candidate will be better positioned to challenge Newsom in 2022 when the polls say that Gavin is vulnerable.

  6. …………and they wonder why they don’t get the small grass roots donors like myself!
    “Fair and transparent” such nice words for a dirty game.
    Wake up Jessica, you have to play the game like your opponent or you will lose every time!
    Listen to people like Robert Bianco and not your marionette.

    1. AMEN, Tomorrow…and thank you Robert B. for your insights as well…

      Is the CAGOP really THAT hidebound and unaware??? No wonder the conservatives always get shut out in California….

  7. If they use electronic voting, they will rig the vote as they did for party chair.

    Faulconer is marginally, if at all, better than Newsom. Faulconer is pro abortion, pro amnesty, pro illegal immigration, supports the global warming scam, and wants to restrict the rights of law abiding Americans to keep and bear arms. Where does Faulconer differ from Newsom?

    If it were Faulconer vs. Newsom, I would not vote, and I would encourage other Reps and conservatives not to vote.

    1. And to amplify Gregory’s sage observations – if the CAGOP doesn’t “Go Maricopa County” on the CA SOS and demand that the internal controls & exploits be PLUGGED on the statewide Dominion Voting Systems, we’re gonna get another stolen election & Newsom will be enabled to ACCELERATE his “reign of economic terror” on everyday California residents….

    2. Gregory, I’m interested to see how the first debate will play out. Although the focus of the questions won’t be on the issues about Falconer that you list, Cox may jump in at times and call Faulconer out on some of them. Like the immigration, sanctuary issue; possibly? The support for the recall (Yes) is growing and I predict a post-debate boost for the pro-recall side. Something that I think Larry Elder will regret not being involved in.

  8. 1. Elder (I want to see if he will put up to all his talk on his show)
    2. Gaines or Kiley
    3. others just drop.

    personally I would prefer there be only ONE Republican candidate

    1. There’s no need for Republicans to drop. No well known Democrat is running. Closest thing is a YouTube influencer.

  9. Support to recall Newsom (Yes) is now at 47%. If this goes to 49% post-Aug4 debate (2% error margin) then we don’t need ONE candidate. All of the candidates on the ballot (40+) will contribute to a YES for RECALL. After that, it’s a free-for-all, and may the best candidate come out on top. I would have no problem supporting whoever that is; since there will be ANOTHER election in 2022.

  10. Cal GOP needs to stay the heck out of this wiht their endorsement. They’ve done nothing to bring a winner to the table for too long. Irrelevant.

  11. Ca GOP seems determined to keep me from ever again supporting them. Putting their thumb on this scale can only help Gov. Newsome survive, which I find myself thinking is perhaps their intent.
    I would much rather they encourage all the candidates for now, picking one to officially support only at the end, rather than the start, of the process.

  12. I think Larry will be helped if NOT endorsed by the CAGOP.
    Independents and perhaps some liberals will see this as permission to vote for Larry as the one true outsider in this race.

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