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Governor Candidate John Cox Pitches Recall, Himself During Fresno Stop
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 3 years ago on
February 9, 2021

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John Cox thinks things will be different the second time around in his quest to become governor of California.

He definitely plans to run, whether in 2022 or later this year if a recall petition qualifies for the ballot.

In 2018, he said, he was an unknown. He lost to Gavin Newsom, 62%-38%

“Very few people knew who I was. I’m a businessman. I’m not a politician. I’m not an entertainer. So people had to get to know me. Well, you know what? It wasn’t enough time and I didn’t have enough money for everybody to get to know me,” Cox said.

Cox visited Fresno on Monday, meeting with farmers and the Fresno County Republican Party.

Advocating for Recall

“Politicians in this state have stacked the deck for years. So do I think that they might try to employ some things to try to keep the recall off the ballot? They might try.”Recall advocate and governor candidate John Cox

Last summer’s blackouts, combined with Newsom’s handling of the pandemic, motivated Cox to support the recall.

“The first rule of business is when you’re in a hole, you stop digging and then you can climb out. And that’s what California needs to do,” Cox said.

Speaking with GV Wire℠, Cox railed on many of Newsom’s perceived black marks — distributing unemployment benefits, High-Speed Rail, and vaccines.

“There’s not even a site to inject the vaccine here in Fresno. There’s one in Oakland because they have a lot of votes, apparently. There’s another one in Los Angeles because there’s a lot of votes there. But Mr. Newsom doesn’t care about the Central Valley,” Cox said.

Newsom announced on Monday a Central Valley site is coming.

The official Secretary of State count shows only 226,000 signatures have been turned in by the campaign to recall Newsom. For a recall to qualify, proponents need 1.4 million signatures by March 17.

Supporters say they are nearing that mark.

Cox wouldn’t be surprised if there are efforts to delay or derail the recall.

“Politicians in this state have stacked the deck for years. So do I think that they might try to employ some things to try to keep the recall off the ballot? They might try,” he said. “The people of this state are not going to stand for any games being played. And I think they’re going to respond appropriately if they see the politicians gaming the recall.”

Cox Launches New Ad

Cox launched a new TV ad on Monday, criticizing not only Newsom but former San Diego mayor and candidate for governor Kevin Faulconer as well.

The ad highlights Newsom’s French Laundry blunder and a controversial San Diego land deal by Faulconer.

Responding to host Elex Michaelson on Fox 11 Los Angeles, Faulconer called Cox a “perennial candidate.”

“I’m not really too focused on him,” Faulconer said.

Housing and Homeless

Cox, who once built homes professionally, says too many regulations drive up the cost of building homes.

The most important thing we can do is reduce the cost of building. And that’s the first issue I’ll attack as governor outside of the pandemic and the vaccinations,” Cox said.

Cox also opposed Newsom’s Project Homekey, which provided money to purchase hotels and motels for the homeless.

“Clearly, it’s failing, and it really is logical that it would fail. If you think about it, you don’t solve homelessness by moving people from place to place,” Cox said.

He prefers a method that would treat homeless people’s problems such as mental illness.

That’s the compassionate thing to do, bring them back into productive society so that they can have a fulfilling life. It is not compassionate to just let people continue to abuse alcohol and drugs or live out their mental illness,” Cox said.

Fifth Run Overall

This will be Cox’s fifth run for public office. In addition to his earlier and current campaigns for governor, he ran for three different positions while living in Illinois in the early 2000s — Congress, U.S. Senate, and Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

Despite that record, he still says he is running against career politicians.

“Why have I run unsuccessfully in the past? Because I’m honest, and because I do the right thing and I say the right thing,” Cox said.

Despite losing handily to Newsom in 2018, Cox is proud of the nearly 5 million votes he did receive.

“I’ve got a base of support I think we can build on that basis,” Cox said. “Faulconer is starting from zero. He’s from San Diego. He’s hardly known in the rest of the state.”

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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