California Recall Candidates Will Appear on the Ballot in This Order
There are forty-one candidates who have qualified for the ballot in the upcoming recall election against Gavin Newsom. A forty-second name, Larry Elder, the popular libertarian talk radio host, may potentially be added to the ballot if a court orders the Secretary of State to do so.
In determining the order these candidates’ names will show up on the ballot, the Secretary of State conducted a randomized alphabet drawing, which is necessary to preserve fairness on the ballot — names that appear at the top of lists tend to fare better than names buried somewhere in the middle.
This randomized alphabet drawing, already a standard practice in California elections, is not unique to this recall election, yet candidates must have been watching with excitement like the holder of any lottery ticket might as the numbers are drawn. As it turns out, a candidate who actually opposes the recall but is running as “a backup” just in case Gavin Newsom is recalled, won this lottery drawing, so to speak.
Animal rights attorney Daniel Kapelovitz, a recall candidate I debated one-on-one earlier this year on the topic of California secession [debate starts around minute 24], will be the first name voters see on the list of replacement candidates. He will be closely followed by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who will be the third name on the list, and Kevin Faulconer, who will be number seven.
Full Disclosure: I endorsed Kevin Kiley when I withdrew from the race due to an inability for me to get a visa for my wife so we could return to California as a family. We will continue working to obtain a visa and I have already filed paperwork declaring my candidacy for the next regular gubernatorial election in 2022.
If a candidate doesn’t place in the top five or so, the next best placement, in my view, is dead last — studies have shown that not all voters read through long lists of candidates and some end up skipping right to the end and start reading up from there. If this holds true in this election, former US Congressman Doug Ose won that placement, coming in at number 41 on the ballot.
Another recognizable name will be Caitlyn Jenner, which voters will find thirteen names down from the top. Though, it appears that Jenner has skipped town and headed to Australia, where she says she is fulfilling some contractual obligations for a film she’s making. If she doesn’t come back and hit the campaign trail soon, voters may pass right by her name and keep going down the list until they come across the next name they may recognize: Jeff Hewitt, the libertarian District 5 Supervisor in Riverside County, who will be the thirtieth name on the ballot.
Meanwhile, if Larry Elder is successful in court, he’ll be listed 32 names from the top, or just ten names from the bottom, depending on how you look at it. That will be just a couple of names ahead of businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in the 2018 regular election, who placed in at number 34.