John Cox, 2018 Newsom Opponent, Says He’ll Run Again If Recall Effort Succeeds
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 03, 2020 - - California Governor Gavin Newsom is interviewed while visiting the Hot and Cool Cafe in Leimert Park after several days of protest in Los Angeles on June 3, 2020.
Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Former California gubernatorial candidate John Cox said he would run for governor again should the growing effort to oust Governor Gavin Newsom (D) through a recall vote achieve enough signatures to get on the ballot.

“The state is in crisis,” Cox told Inside California Politics in an interview when asked why he’s committed to throwing his hat in the ring if the recall effort succeeds. “It’s kind of the things I talked about during the run in 2018. Housing and homelessness are worse, but now we have the pandemic and the mismanagement that’s gone on during this whole thing.”

“We’ve got small businesses that have been crushed, while Costco and Home Depot and big chains are doing just fine. We also have our kids being kept out of school and being kept out of activities,” explained Cox.

Cox said the “last straw,” however, has been California’s vaccine distribution system. According to Bloomberg News, California has only administered 60.6% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses they’ve been provided by the federal government. Far more successful states, such as West Virginia, have administered 86% of the vaccine doses they have been provided.

“There are seniors all across this state that are facing, literally, life and death if they don’t get this vaccine,” said Cox, who emphasized that California’s 6,000 pharmacies should have been leveraged for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

He added: “It’s just one of a series of just instances of mismanagement the politicians, being led by Gavin Newsom, have visited upon us and it’s got to change. I’m just not sitting back and watching this, I’m going to actually do something about it.”

In recent months, the recall effort against Newsom has been gaining momentum. While it has not yet qualified for the ballot, should it ultimately succeed, Newsom would be only the third governor in American history to be recalled.

Former California Governor Gray Davis (D), the only living governor to be recalled, recently told Politico that Newsom was dealing with a “tougher hand” than anyone else in politics.

“Look, I had the energy crisis and a recession,” said Davis. “He has a pandemic we haven’t seen for 100 years. He has the fallout from that pandemic, racial injustice, wildfires, and I think I’m leaving something out. But nobody, no living governor, has had to experience as many crises as him.”

Davis, who still believes Newsom has “done a remarkable job,” said that he expects Newsom to focus on COVID-19 vaccine promotion in coming months because it can “give people the sense that this pandemic is eventually going to end.”

“He’s totally transparent. He explains why he’s going to do something. He tells you whether it was accomplished and, if not, why not. And I think there’s an endearing quality about him that voters like,” said Davis.

Related: California To Outsource Vaccine Distribution Amidst Poor Rollout

Related: ‘Utter Nonsense’: Newsom Bristles That Ending Stay-At-Home Order Amid Recall Effort Was Not Political

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