The Republican Party of California stated on August 7 announcing its decision not to back any candidate in the September 14 recall election that could oust Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom from office.
Party Chair Jessica Millan Patterson stated a meeting of delegates. Patterson noted the decision to make no endorsement was overwhelming. She said the field of Republican candidates in the event of Newsom’s recall is strong and speaks to “the outstanding position our party is in going into the recall election.”
Patterson said that the GOP is focused on putting the state back on the right track by ensuring the recall above choosing any single candidate to replace him. She emphasized the governor’s track record in a state burdened with crime, wildfires, homelessness, failing schools, and high taxes.
She stated that the party delegates found that four candidates were qualified for a formal endorsement, Larry Elder, Kevin Faulconer, Doug Ose, and Kevin Kiley. After discussing an approval, the delegates passed a motion with almost 90 percent support not choosing among those candidates for an endorsement.
The state party has made a tactical decision to keep voters’ focus on the first part of the recall ballot. “Question 1” on the ballot is whether Newsome should be recalled. Only if a majority of voters say “yes” to that question will a choice from the crowded list of candidates be relevant.
The excellent news for the California GOP is that the party as a whole is more focused on getting Newsom out of office than on the infighting that sometimes occurs when a party candidate must be chosen in a regular election.
Republicans must focus on maximizing turnout for the recall. If a formal endorsement were made of any single candidate, supporters of other candidates might become less enthusiastic about showing up for the crucial “question 1” part of the recall. Unless Newsom is successfully recalled, Californians will be stuck with another year of Democratic destruction of the state.