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John Cox Forms Exploratory Committee For 2022 Gubernatorial Run

2018 GOP Governor candidate joins others looking to upset Newsom in two years

By Evan Symon, September 8, 2020 3:04 pm

Earlier this week, businessman and 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox announced that he will be forming an exploratory committee to run for California Governor on the Republican ticket in 2022.

A possible second run for Cox

Cox said that rises in unemployment and homelessness, as well as the states response to COVID-19, the declination of small businesses, wildfire issues, education issues, and misspent tax money were all reasons that drew him back for another possible run for Governor.

Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“I love California, I love living here, it’s the best state in the country as far as I’m concerned,” said Cox in a local Fox affiliate interview. “But this state is in crisis. We’ve got 15% unemployment, small businesses are literally getting crushed, we can’t send our kids to school, and the response out of Sacramento has been inconsistent. I think it has had an effect on our economy.”

“The incredible housing cost that we’re incurring in our state, the homelessness crisis, these things have gotten worse, not better. Now we’re having fires that have fouled the air and threatened people all over the place, we’re spending, still, tons of money on a bullet train instead of spending it on more and better aircraft and firefighters. On top of that, we have electricity that’s not available on a regular basis.”

In 2018, Cox ran against then-Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on many of the same points, losing 7,721,410 votes, or 61.9% of the vote, to 4,742,825 votes, or 38.1% of the vote. While Cox had been within a few percentage points of Newsom in the polls around the beginning of September 2018, a large Democratic turnout, as well as Cox being unable to sway many independent and moderate voters due to some hardline stances swayed the state in Newsom’s favor.

Worsening conditions in California, Newsom’s approval rating drop drawing many Republicans to the 2022 race

However, two years later, California has become a different state. California, in a deficit again because of COVID-19, has struggled throughout 2020. Some issues, such as homelessness, have only grown since Newsom was sworn into office, while other promised policy changes have not been met.

“People are leaving,” explained Cox. “We’re leading the nation in U-Haul rentals when we should be leading it economically.”

“A lot of people in this state are not happy with the quality of life. We love the weather, we love the natural beauty of this state, but they’re not happy with the housing costs, with the cost of living in general, and now we have unemployment, and jobs, and public safety, which is an issue as well, so there’s a lot of things that are going on here that I think people want to see fixed, they want to see better management, and I’ve had 40 years of experience doing that, building a successful business, and I think I can apply those tools to making California better for a lot of people.”

With a growing discontent, many Republicans believe that 2020 will show that a tide will turn in California, possibly making the 2022 election closer than anyone originally had thought.

“COVID-19 and California falling back economically will not improve things for Democrats,” said political opinion analytics director Frank Barker to the Globe. “Orange County races are heating up, and we’ve been seeing that the GOP is likely to take back the county through many local and state elections. Same goes for San Bernardino County races, Riverside, San Diego, and many Northern Counties.”

“If the Republicans can hold or gain seats in those areas, while keeping their base, while at the same time as the presidential election, it will be a big beachhead for the Governor’s race.”

“This will be an uphill battle in any case, but there is a lot going for Republicans. Newsom’s approval polls have plummeted since the resurgence of COVID-19 (70% to 58% as of last month), and California is getting some bad news next year as they are likely to lose at least one house seat. Add in a worsening homeless crisis and you have a decent chance of winning.”

“A lot of things need to work in the right way, but a GOP victory looks a little more brighter now that compared to a year or only 6 months months ago.”

Other Republicans mulling over run

Many other prominent Republicans are also currently mulling over their options like Cox. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has been making political moves that many have read as a likely run in 2022, such as creating new homeless initiatives to begin that year and going after Newsom on his homelessness record. Former Congressman Doug Ose (R-CA) has also been mentioned as a possible candidate. Some smaller candidates, such as Businesswoman Laura Smith, have even filed early as candidates in 2022.

“With Cox looking to come back, this time with name recognition, and other prominent Republicans looking in, this could be the GOP’s first major chance to take back the Governorship since Arnold Schwarzenegger,” added Barker. “Let’s see what happens.”

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21 thoughts on “John Cox Forms Exploratory Committee For 2022 Gubernatorial Run

      -Jerry Ballard USNRet TULARE, CA

  1. If California elects this guy or someone like him they will ultimately turn over the state to the democrats in four years forever.

    California needs a Reagan, Deukmejian or Goldwater Conservative and they also need to vote out every single lawmaker and leader for Conservatives as well.

  2. We don’t need a RINO who was winning by a solid 6 points at the closing of the polls at 8 pm…yet conceded to Newsom at 8:05 pm. Was he bought? More than likely. California needs a STRONG true Republican who can clean up YEARS of corruption successfully and refuses to be bought

    1. @ Kimberly

      That’s exactly what I thought, and I wonder if the plan all along was to keep Travis Allen out of the race completely. It sure seemed suspicious how he appeared out of nowhere when Allen had the DNC scared and on the ropes. I have a feeling someone paid him to run and then take a fall to let hair gel glide to victory. The same sort of thing happened when Tom McClintock was poised to take over when grey davis was recalled, and out of nowhere Schwarzenegger decides to get in the race bumping Tom out of the primary.

    2. Yes agree 100% the corruption is mind blowing as well as across departments. Put up the phone call in a favor as Christina Baker Dept Indust Rel (DIR)
      Worker’s compensation massive corruption 32k workers claims outstanding denial delays the majority give up never settle while getting medical treatment billed private insurance
      Cal Pers pension plan absorbs State workers denied check it out nepotism jury rigging promotions and appointments
      Merit system broken audit finding not corrected it’s mind boggling
      How you ask would you know this??? Cause I was one taken out… taken out cause I was honest refused to lie deceive and cover up corruption as compliance auditor
      No EEOC or DFEH enforcement BTW 15 years since first complained as ADA medical requested protected activity then taken out SS disabled

  3. Cox is weak and has absolutely no charisma. We need a more Tough Trump like candidate. If a repub were to get elected as guv here in CA, it will be a battle with the Dems.

  4. We can all comment or complain about the other Republican it does us no good. Democrats back each other we don’t. When Travis Allen lost the nomination to Cox he refused to back him there was no coalition behind Cox. He may have not been the favorite but he was our only chance, and any republican would have been better than Newsom. It is looking very possible given the recall effort that there may be another election before 2022. If we should be so fortunate we must back whoever is the republican 100% and all republicans in down ballot races! We must take back our state from the criminal politicians that are running it!

  5. Meh. The California Republicans have given up on this state. Try fielding a strong candidate instead of a guy who is more like Romney than Reagan or Trump.

  6. Please, all of you Republicans who want to run for governor, lock yourselves in a room, come up with ONE candidate who can win. John Cox cannot win. He is old and white and this is not an old,white year. (I am old and white) I dont know his name but there is a young, black conservative from Pasadena running who can win. Please, people, for the love of God, put your power hungry egos in check and finally take back the remains of this state

    1. Golfer Gal – You are referring to Major Williams. My daughter, who lives in Ventura County, is hosting a fundraiser for him at her home on September 26. If you’d like, I’d be happy to send you the invitation.


  7. If John Cox’ path to getting into 2nd position in the primary and possibly winning includes backing, rhetorically and with money, the #SchoolChoice initiative for the 2022 ballot.

  8. John Cox is a RINO and plant for the democratic party. He is the reason why California is stuck with Gavin Newsom as he pulled votes from the true Republican (and better) candidate Travis Allen.

  9. We really need your leadership and values John. This state is a mess. So many are leaving. California is beautiful but the taxation is overwhelming. Many other issues as well. You are highly respected.

  10. Travis Allen or Mark Meuser are my choices for CA Governor. Cox is just another RINO from Chicago. I can’t understand why Newt supported him and advised Trump to endorse him in 2016. We need a true Conservative that will turn our once beautiful state back into paradise.

  11. John Cox has always been a smart, sensitive, responsible, hard-working individual. Regardless of political affiliation, he can accomplish what needs to be accomplished for the people of the state of California.

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