A YouTuber who has over 50,000 subscribers is trying to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom. He is currently polling on the platform with a goal of 3% of votes.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The last time Californians voted to recall a governor, they chose a Hollywood superstar to replace him. Could it be a 29-year-old YouTube celebrity who leads the country’s most populated state this time?
It’s a long chance, but Kevin Paffrath might win solely because of the almost 1.7 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, where he gives financial advice. The other eight Democrats on the ballot are mostly unknowns.
Because of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s effective tactic of preventing any famous Democrats from competing in the Sept. 14 election, the Democratic field is packed with nameless political neophytes. His aim was to make it an all-or-nothing choice for voters: retain Newsom or suffer the repercussions of electing someone with a drastically different policy agenda.
“In an election like this with 46 names on the ballot, social media fame translates to name recognition, and that’s really what’s going to make a huge difference,” said Kim Nalder, a political science professor at California State University, Sacramento.
Should Newsom be recalled, and if so, who should replace him? Voters have already received mail-in ballots with two questions. If a majority of voters want Newsom out, the candidate with the most votes wins, even if he or she falls short of a majority, which is very likely given the number of contenders. In the event that Newsom is recalled, those who voted against him may still select a successor.
Paffrath’s ascent is steep, made all the more difficult by his refusal to submit a statement explaining his political views for the voter guide that is sent to all registered voters’ homes. For those who are just casually interested in the race, this may be the best location to learn about substitute alternatives.
Kevin Paffrath, a real estate agent and YouTube video producer, takes a selfie with a fan during a campaign event at Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles on Friday, August 20, 2021. Paffrath, 29, is a Democratic candidate in the recall election against California Governor Gavin Newsom. (Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo)
He’d also have to overcome Newsom’s and California Democratic Party leaders’ messages that opponents of the recall should ignore the second issue and concentrate only on keeping Newsom in office.
That, according to Paffrath, is a mistake. He’s been touring the state, even attending some of Newsom’s rallies, to persuade reporters and supporters that voting for him offers California an opportunity to make progress on problems like homelessness if Newsom is recalled. He claims that if Democrats give up their right to select a successor, the state would be in the hands of a Republican who will be stuck in a deadlock with the majority Democratic Legislature.
“We want people in California to know that there is a backup choice, that if you don’t want the recall, don’t leave the second half of the ballot blank — that’s stupid,” Paffrath told The Associated Press.
Paffrath, who is described as a “financial educator/analyst” on the ballot, publishes several videos each day on topics such as the stock market and cryptocurrencies. And then there’s his campaign.
Many had catchy titles, such as “It’s Official: California is Shutting me Down,” which showed Paffrath explaining why the secretary of state wouldn’t let him put his moniker “Meet Kevin” on the ballot. He urged his fans to help him text voters in another video captioned “PLEASE HELP or I’m Screwed in 48 Hours.”
The campaign for Paffrath is gaining traction. He’s being included in a discussion for the first time. He’ll appear alongside three Republican hopefuls on Wednesday: former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and businessman John Cox, all of whom lost to Newsom in a landslide election in 2018.
All debates have been missed by Newsom and Republican front-runner and talk show personality Larry Elder.
Paffrath’s first venture into politics is the recall campaign. In 2018, he didn’t even vote, which he now admits was a mistake.
Paffrath, his wife Lauren, and their two boys, aged 3 and 5, reside in Ventura. Lauren and Paffrath met on a high school trip to Paris, but their romance struck a hitch when Lauren moved to Southern California and Paffrath moved to Florida. He ultimately went to California for his senior year and lived with her family, then remained and started a real estate business with his wife’s father’s assistance. According to Paffrath, he and his wife have amassed at least $15 million in assets.
Father-in-law Paffrath mastered the ropes of the real estate industry, according to Bill Stewart, and soon rose to become one of Ventura County’s top brokers.
Stewart stated, “He mixes intellect with a great work ethic.” “He picks things up fast and is always researching to obtain the best results.”
Paffrath currently owns a large number of properties across Ventura County. He began his YouTube account by making videos criticizing other people’s real estate advice, and he soon gained a following.
Following his election as governor, he now hopes to capitalize on it. If elected, Newsom plans to concentrate on homelessness, which he named as his top concern before the epidemic struck but has only become worse since then.
Paffrath said that he would utilize his emergency powers to construct 80 shelters that would provide on-site drug addiction treatment, mental health care, and educational assistance, as well as food and showers. While they’re being built, he’ll send out the National Guard to assist homeless people on the streets by handing them goods and constructing makeshift restrooms.
No one would be permitted to sleep on the streets until the shelters are up and operating, which he estimates would take around 60 days. He sees ambulances picking up individuals on the streets late at night and transporting them to shelters or assisting them in receiving medical treatment, but he insists that no one will be jailed.
There are about 160,000 homeless individuals in California, and politicians and community organizations have battled for years to develop legislative answers. Shelters have proved to be inadequate as a source of assistance.
Paffrath, on the other hand, believes that his approach will help lawmakers move forward on other issues, such as a broad infrastructure plan that would include building a pipeline to the Mississippi River for a new source of water and underground tunnels to relieve traffic congestion, an idea championed by billionaire Elon Musk.
He also proposes offering interested people $2,000 each month to attend “future schools,” where they may acquire high-paying professions like computer programming or electrical engineering.
Paffrath believes he has been unjustly stymied by the Democratic Party’s message to simply vote no on the recall and not to nominate a replacement candidate. According to him, this may lead to the election of a conservative Republican governor. Newsom’s campaign, according to Paffrath, should promote his candidacy as a credible backup.
He speculated, “Perhaps they’ll be too arrogant to do it.” “However, it would be extremely wise of them to do so.”
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