SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The only time the Californians voted to remove a governor they replaced him with a Hollywood megastar. Could it be a 29-year-old YouTube star this time leading the nation’s most populous state?
It’s a very long thing, but Kevin Paffrath could definitely win because he has a certain level of awareness thanks to the nearly 1.7 million followers on his video channel on which he offers financial advice. The other eight Democrats running are essentially unknown.
The Democratic field is filled with anonymous political freshmen because of Governor Gavin Newsom’s successful strategy of preventing prominent Democrats from running in the September 14 elections. His goal was to give voters an all-or-nothing offer – keep Newsom or live with the consequences of choosing a replacement with an entirely different political agenda.
“Social media star means brand awareness, and that will really make a huge difference in an election like this one with 46 names on the ballot,” said Kim Nalder, professor of political science at California State University in Sacramento.
Voters have already received postal ballot papers with two questions: should Newsom be recalled, and if so, who should replace him? If a majority wants Newsom to leave, the candidate with the highest number of votes becomes governor, even if he does not get a majority, which is almost certain with so many candidates. Individuals who vote against Newsom’s removal may still choose a replacement option in the event that Newsom is removed.
Paffrath’s rise is a steep climb made difficult by the fact that he does not make a statement of his political views on behalf of the voter leader, who goes out to all households with registered voters. For people who are casual about the race, this could be the primary place to find out about replacement options.
He also had to overcome the message from Newsom and the California Democratic Party that opponents should be called back, skip the second question altogether, and focus only on keeping Newsom in office.
Paffrath thinks this is a mistake. He has traveled the state – even performed at some of Newsom’s events – and argued to reporters and supporters that having a voice for him gives California a chance for progress on issues such as homelessness should Newsom be recalled. If the Democrats lose their right to elect a successor, it could put the state in the hands of a Republican who is likely to be at a stalemate with the predominantly Democratic legislature.
“We want the people in California to know that there is a backup option that if you oppose the recall, don’t leave the second part of the ballot blank – it’s stupid,” Paffrath told the Associated Press.
Paffrath, who is on the ballot as a “financial educator / analyst”, publishes several videos every day on topics such as the stock market and cryptocurrency. And about his campaign.
Many have eye-catching headlines like “It’s Official: California Shutting Me Down” in which Paffrath announced that California’s Secretary of State would not allow him to use his nickname “Meet Kevin” on the ballot. In another video titled “PLEASE HELP or I’ll be screwed in 48 hours,” he asked his followers to help him text messages to voters.
The Paffrath campaign is getting a boost. For the first time he is included in a debate. He will appear on Wednesday with three Republican candidates – former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Rep. Kevin Kiley and businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in a landslide in 2018.
Newsom and Republican front runner and talk show host Larry Elder skipped all debates.
The recall is Paffrath’s first foray into politics. He didn’t even vote in 2018 what he calls a mistake today.
Paffrath lives in Ventura with his wife Lauren and two sons aged 3 and 5. The couple met on a high school trip to Paris, but their relationship quickly got hooked: Lauren lived in Southern California and Paffrath in Florida. He eventually moved to California for his senior year and lived with her family, then stayed and got into real estate with the help of his wife’s father. Paffrath says he and his wife are worth at least $ 15 million.
Father-in-law Bill Stewart said Paffrath learned about the real estate business and then quickly became one of Ventura County’s top agents.
“He combines intelligence with an incredible work ethic,” said Stewart. “He learns incredibly quickly and always researches to get the best results.”
Paffrath now owns many properties in Ventura County. When he started his YouTube channel, he made videos criticizing other people’s real estate advice and quickly caught attention.
He now hopes to benefit from this after his candidacy for governor. If elected, he would focus on homelessness, something Newsom identified as its # 1 priority before the pandemic broke out but has only deteriorated.
Paffrath said he would use his emergency powers to build 80 shelters that would provide substance abuse assistance, mental health and educational support on site, as well as meals and showers. While they are under construction, he would send the National Guard to help the homeless on the streets by distributing supplies and building makeshift toilets.
As soon as the accommodations are in operation – he says within 60 days – nobody is allowed to sleep on the street anymore. He envisions ambulances picking up people on the street at night and taking them to shelters or helping them get medical care, but people would not be arrested.
California has roughly 160,000 homeless, and politicians and community groups have struggled for years to find political solutions. Shelters have proven to be an inadequate support system.
However, Paffrath believes his approach will help lawmakers to set other priorities, such as advocating a far-reaching infrastructure plan that includes building a pipeline to the Mississippi for a new water source and building underground tunnels to ease traffic from billionaire Elon Musk.
He also suggests giving interested adults $ 2,000 a month to attend “future schools” where they can learn skills like computer programming or electrical engineering to find high-paying jobs.
Paffrath feels unjustly blocked by the Democratic Party and its message of only voting no and not choosing a replacement candidate. He said this could lead to a conservative Republican governor. Paffrath believes Newsom’s campaign should advertise his candidacy as a viable backup.
“Maybe they’re too arrogant for that,” he said. “But it would be very wise if you did that.”
That story has been corrected to say that Paffrath and his wife have a net worth of at least $ 15 million, not a total of $ 15 million.