With a possible or even probable recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom happening this year, there are rumored replacement candidates, and a few confirmed.
Usually in Gubernatorial races, major party candidates don’t really start to get serious until late in the year prior to the election year. But with election cycles now adding considerable more time, allowing for more debates and offering the public the opportunity to see more of the candidates, candidates are starting to be discussed seriously now, with many actually declaring and forming exploratory committees.
With an earlier than ever need for the CAGOP to find a candidate for Governor, the Globe takes a look at current candidates, candidates who have formed committees, candidates who are heavily rumored, and a few speculative picks of possible candidates who have the right stuff to win in 2021… or 2022.
This is the second article in a series identifying, familiarizing and analyzing potential and named candidates for California Governor. The first article is here.
Previous experience: Cook County Republican (IL) Party President, Republican Party candidate for Governor 2018.
The last GOP nominee for Governor back in 2018, Cox is seeking out the position once again. He currently has a gubernatorial exploratory committee set up, and like candidate Kevin Faulconer, has already started campaigning.
Despite getting the nod in 2018, this election cycle has more working against Cox. He has been called a perennial candidate, first in Illinois with Congressional and Senate runs in the 2000’s, and then after he moved to California from Chicago in 2011.
Cox is a housing developer, accountant, and attorney, and has extensive business experience, but nothing in public office he can point it too. Notably, President Donald Trump did not have public office experience, and ran for President and won.
Cox holds conservative views, and his campaign slogan “John Cox for California: Solutions, not excuses,” exemplifies this. Sometimes to the right-side of Barry Goldwater, other times he leans Libertarian, Cox is affirmatively anti-abortion, opposes the death penalty, and has stated that he doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state, in a 2008 Harper’s article.
He didn’t back Trump in 2016, which hurt him in 2018 until President Trump weighed in and backed him as Governor. He has however, donated to the Recall Newsom campaign.
“Californians, like Americans throughout the nation, are concerned about kitchen-table issues,” Cox told the Globe in an interview, and noted that every tax-related ballot position championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom was repudiated by voters.
“We’ve got one shot to turn this state around,” Cox said. “‘Delivering Results’ is about solving problems – it’s what this campaign is about – delivering long term results.”
Cox said former California Governor and U.S. President Ronald Reagan brought him to the Republican Party some years ago because Reagan was focused on results. Reagan came into the presidency following “the feckless Jimmy Carter years” which culminated in electricity shortages, gas shortages and long gas lines, “roaring inflation and people’s income didn’t keep up with their expenses,” he said. “There were no Christmas lights allowed!” Cox said.
“We need to learn from history – we don’t have water when we need it, but it’s a man-made drought. There is a housing crisis – again man-made. “The average working family has been hollowed out by this wage-price spiral,” Cox said.
He said in San Francisco the annual income of $130,000 is poverty-level, whereas in the rest of the country, $130,000 is a really good income. “The housing costs are driving this – gas and electricity costs – all government induced,” he said.
Cox, who is a developer, said he can build an apartment complex in Indiana for $100,000 per unit. But because of California’s high costs to build – legal costs, layers of approval, it costs $400,000 to $500,000 per unit.
Californians might be making more money, but we also are spending all of it and more, Cox said. “The middle class can’t live in this state,” he said. “And most of this is government induced.”
Cox said most of the state’s mismanagement “can be turned around tomorrow,” with a few simple policy changes. “Suspend CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), bring back nuclear power, natural gas and hydroelectric power,” he said. Cox said he wants and “all-of-the-above” approach to powering the state. “Nuclear power is clean – France does a good job with it.” He noted that the “all-or-nothing” approach to wind and solar power is not realistic, and is leaving the state with energy shortages.
Cox says he’s about solutions, results and accountability. “The pandemic has shown that Governor Newsom is NOT a manager or solution oriented,” Cox said. “And now he doesn’t have President Trump to blame.”
“Being an executive is coming up with solutions, not making the state and the people worse-off.”
- 2022 California Primary Election Results - June 7, 2022
- Following California’s Recall, Who Will Be Candidate for Governor? - February 3, 2021
- Following California’s Recall, Who Will Be Candidate for Governor? - February 2, 2021