A wide variety of candidates have stepped up to the plate to serve as Newsom’s replacement from all corners of the political spectrum, including polar-opposite conservative radio host Larry Elder.
Republican and California State Assemblymember Kevin Kiley, Libertarian and Riverside County supervisor Jeff Hewitt and Democratic YouTuber Kevin Paffrath have also joined the race, and argued their fitness to serve in an appearance on "Kennedy."
Kiley, a Yale Law graduate and former tenth grade English teacher, commented on the failures of California’s education system, blaming the downfall on "corrupt politicians" like Newsom who landed the state’s schools in last place amid COVID reopenings.
"The reason that we are failing our kids is because corrupt politicians like Gavin Newsom are completely owned by the state’s biggest special interest whose business model is keeping kids trapped in failing schools," he said. "That is more true here in California than anywhere."
In regards to the worsening homeless crisis in California’s cities, Paffrath, a political and economic news YouTuber also known as MeetKevin, considered Newsom to be a "failed leader."
"He’s not solving problems," he said. "We need massive, statewide action from a governor to solve the homeless crisis… We’ve got to deal with the mental health crisis by providing services, providing drug services, providing places where homeless can go to where they don’t have to wait six months to get a mental health evaluation. They get services today and now, and we need a governor to lead that change – not sit around trying to fear monger Larry Elder."
Hewitt, the lone Libertarian on the ballot, weighed in on Newsom’s mismanagement of the state’s budget, mentioning that there’s nearly $1 trillion in unfunded liabilities in public employee pensions alone.
"We’ve got the highest taxes, I believe, in the country on almost every level," he said. "We’ve got crumbling roads. We’ve got some of the worst outcomes on education. And what he does he just tries to buy out."
"He has basically spent these windfalls, that he thinks he has, to try to buy votes in these last several months. And I guess when you’re king, that’s what you get to do."