Meet the lesser-known California recall candidates

Illustration of a long ballot with a red pen on a blue background.
(Nicole Vas / Los Angeles Times)

By now, many Californians have heard about Larry Elder, John Cox and Kevin Paffrath, three of the 46 candidates seeking to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in a special recall election that will conclude on Sept. 14.

Perhaps you read our editorial urging a strong NO on the recall but suggesting Kevin Faulconer, a Republican former mayor of San Diego, for the second part of the ballot. (Plot-spoiler: We think Faulconer is the least bad of the options.)


But chances are, you don’t know much about Jeff Hewitt, Jenny Rae Le Roux, Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato or the three dozen other people also running too?

The Sept. 14 recall ballot doesn’t offer much information about the 46 candidates Just a name, a party affiliation, if any, and a short job description.

Some candidates have opted to purchase statements in the Secretary of State’s official voter information guide to share more details about themselves and their issues. But these don’t necessarily delve into the policy positions that can help voters decide whether a candidate supports their issues.

In most elections in which the Los Angeles Times editorial board offers an endorsement, we invite all candidates to meet in person (or, in these strange times, on Zoom). But it’s not always practical or possible. The Times met with six of the recall candidates (including Doug Ose, who later dropped out of the race for health reasons.)

We reached out to the 40 candidates whom we did not meet with personally and asked them to fill out a short questionnaire to gauge their positions on issues we care about. Some didn’t respond, but most did. Below are the answers to our questions.


The Los Angeles Times editorial board questions the recall candidates on issues including homelessness and abortion rights.

Aug. 20, 2021