Opportunity binge

Who’s on your ballot? Here are the 46 people challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom in the recall

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The first question California voters face in the Sept. 14 recall election is simple: Remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office or retain him? The second question is where voters face a more complicated decision: Whom to select, if anyone, from the 46 people on the ballot vying for the chance to become governor if the recall succeeds?

Realistically, only a few of the candidates have a chance to finish first in this race. But all have secured the necessary signatures and paid a filing fee to appear on the ballot, whatever their motivation. They represent a mix of ideologies and political ties: Mostly Republicans, but a few Democrats, those who indicate no party preference and some affiliated with lesser-known parties.

Here is a snapshot of the 46 (including Republican former Rep. Doug Ose, who remains on the ballot but withdrew from the contest after suffering a heart attack):

Nickolas Wildstar

Republican

Musician

Elective office held: None

Wildstar, a “Ron-Paul Republican” and hip-hop artist, wants to suspend tax collection for one year, end qualified immunity for police officers and integrate cryptocurrency into a publicly owned banking system. He is against COVID-19-related closures and does not support vaccine mandates.

Joe Symmon

Republican

Community volunteer

Elective office held: None

Symmon believes “free-for-all smoking of marijuana” is to blame for the rise in homelessness, that “marriage is between a man and a woman” and that “life begins at conception.” The born-again Christian said he is “not ashamed” of his faith but would not force his religion on anybody. He is against vaccine mandates.

Major Singh

No party preference

Software engineer

Elective office held: None

Singh seeks long-term solutions to homelessness and wildfires, which he named as two of the state’s biggest crises alongside COVID-19. He wants to harness technology to prevent wildfires and address the social and economic issues behind homelessness. Singh supports vaccination requirements for healthcare workers who interact with patients but would not support a statewide masking mandate.

Denver Stoner

Republican

Deputy sheriff

Elective office held: None

Stoner, of Alpine County, decided to run for governor upon hearing about the recall election on the radio, to which he laughed and responded, “It would be great having a Stoner in office.” “Pro-gun,” Stoner wants to make it easier for people to purchase legal firearms, but his top priority would be addressing “poor forest management.” He does not support any criminal justice reforms or vaccine mandates.

Sarah Stephens

Republican

Pastor

Elective office held: None

Stephens believes that hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D and sunlight heal COVID-19 and that the vaccine is made with “fetal tissue,” which is false. She says she would lift all mask and vaccine mandates and address her top priorities — the economy, education reform and homelessness — by aiding small businesses and cutting taxes, ending critical race theory and “sexual indoctrination” in schools, and supporting programs for veterans and others experiencing homelessness.

Doug Ose

Republican

Real estate developer and rancher

Elective office held: Three terms in Congress

Ose dropped out of the race after suffering a heart attack, but his name still appears on the ballot. The former three-term Sacramento-area congressman briefly ran for governor in 2018. He has endorsed Kevin Kiley in the recall race.

Dan Kapelovitz

Dan Kapelovitz (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Dan Kapelovitz

Green

Criminal defense attorney

Elective office held: None

Kapelovitz, a former Hustler magazine editor, now runs a one-man legal shop called the Radical Law Center. He considered running for governor during the 2003 recall election but didn’t want to anger his then-boss Larry Flynt, who was also a candidate. His platform focuses on animal rights, criminal justice reform, public health and fire prevention.

Kevin K. Kaul

No party preference

Construction and real estate development

Elective office held: None

A native of India, Kaul first came to the U.S. to attend business school in South Dakota but moved west to escape the cold. The Long Beach resident and naturalized U.S. citizen now runs a construction business. “We immigrants are more loyal. That’s the reason I said I will run for governor,” Kaul said.

Chauncey “Slim” Killens

Republican

Pastor

Elective office held: None

Killens is a pastor and retired correctional officer who has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage. He attended the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in Washington, D.C., although he said he did not enter the Capitol during the insurrection and condemned the violence that took place. His candidate statement reads, “Vote For Me The People’s Governor.”

Kevin Kiley

Republican

Assemblyman

Elective office held: Three terms in the state Assembly

Kiley entered electoral politics in 2016 after teaching high school in South Los Angeles, working at a law firm and prosecuting cases as a deputy state attorney general. The Rocklin assemblyman is a proponent of school choice and opposes mask and vaccine mandates.

Patrick Kilpatrick

Democrat

Actor/screenwriter/producer

Elective office held: None

Kilpatrick said he briefly ran for Congress in 2014 but withdrew before the filing deadline. After more than two decades in the film and theater industry, Kilpatrick founded Uncommon Dialogue Films, where he is chief executive. His campaign slogan is, “Not a politician, not a pundit, a person of the people.”

Anthony Trimino

Republican

Entrepreneur/CEO

Elective office held: None

A native Californian and father of five, Trimino is the chief executive of Traffik, a marketing and advertising agency based in Irvine.

Joel Ventresca

Democrat

Retired airport analyst

Elective office held: None

Ventresca served as an environmental commissioner for the city and County of San Francisco in the 1990s and has since run unsuccessfully for several posts in the city and county. “As an incorruptible, independent, Berniecrat Democrat, I offer new transformational leadership and fundamental change,” he said.

Kevin L. Faulconer

Republican

Businessman/educator

Elective office held: Two terms as mayor of San Diego

Faulconer served as mayor of San Diego from 2014 to 2020. He has championed his record on alleviating homelessness in the city and the ability to work across the aisle with Democrats. “Our state is too expensive and people are voting with their feet — they’re leaving California because their families can’t afford to stay here,” he said at a recent debate. “We have a governor who doesn’t seem to think that’s a problem. I do.”

Rhonda Furin

Republican

Nonprofit president

Elective office held: None

Furin hails from Minnesota, where she earned degrees in education and competed in Minnesota Miss Teen World and Mrs. Minnesota contests. She moved to California in 1996 and said she has taught children in all grade levels in public, private and community day school settings.

Robert C. Newman II

Republican

Farmer and retired clinical psychologist

Elective office held: None

Newman is a farmer and retired clinical psychologist who says he believes in limited government and individual responsibility. He supports the sanctity of life and traditional marriage. His platform includes supporting the 2nd Amendment, legal immigration, agriculture, small business, school choice, allocating more water to farmers, cutting taxes and reducing regulations.

Dennis Richter

No party preference

Walmart employee

Elective office held: None

Richter was raised in rural Minnesota and is an elected leader of the Socialist Workers Party. Richter has worked in the rail, meatpacking, steel and garment industries and currently works for Walmart. He is active in trade unions.

Brandon M. Ross

Democrat

Medical doctor

Elective office held: None

Ross supports mask mandates and promoting vaccinations for as many Californians as possible in order to stop…

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