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John Cox Brings "Beauty and the Beast" Bus to Fresno County
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 3 years ago on
May 6, 2021

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There was no bear campaigning with John Cox when he stopped at an almond farm in Fresno County on Thursday.

But, there was a dog — presumably living at Machado Farms.

Cox, running for governor in California’s upcoming recall election, spoke with the media during a local stop in a multi-city tour this week. He is investing $5 million in the most recent campaign blitz, including TV advertisements and a well-decorated bus.

No Local Endorsements

Cox made his appearance solo, aided by at least seven staff members. At one point there were more Cox staffers than media present.

There were no local politicians standing by Cox.

Cox did establish his “Beauty and the Beast” theme, criticizing Gov. Gavin Newsom for closed businesses and kids not being able to attend school in person.

“Our beautiful, pretty governor is responsible for this,” Cox said.

During his stop, Cox constantly called Newsom “pretty,” and vowed to make “beastly” changes.

At his bus tour premier this week in Sacramento, Cox shared the spotlight with a Kodiak bear.

The two-part recall question is likely to take place in October or November. The ballot will ask voters two questions — whether to recall Newsom, yes or no; and if the governor is recalled, who should replace him?

Secretary of State Shirley Weber reported recall supporters turned in 1.7 million valid signatures, more than the 1.4 million required. Petition signers have until June to withdraw their signatures, the next step in the lengthy recall process.

With his “Beast Bus” in the background, John Cox campaigned for governor during a stop in Fresno County (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Cox Points to Business Experience

Cox, R-Rancho Santa Fe, was one of the first to announce a recall run. In the 2018 election, Newsom defeated Cox  by 24 percentage points.

But, Cox says his 40 years in business makes him the ideal choice.

“I think that’s the experience that the people of the state want. This race is going to be about the beauty in government right now, our governor, and the beast.

Other candidates have emerged including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, and former Congressman Doug Ose — all Republicans.

“It’s leadership that people trust. You know, I got to tell you, even some of my Republican opponents have real trust problems,” Cox said. “We need to make sure that we have leaders that understand the problems, understand the solutions, but most of all have integrity.”

Drought and Immigration

Cox did manage to discuss a few substantive issues.

He would declare a statewide drought emergency, sought by a bi-partisan coalition of Valley leaders. Newsom has declared a drought emergency in two norther California counties.

“I would declare an emergency because we need to focus everybody on it. And that means moving things forward and expanding the Shasta Reservoir, reauthorizing Sites (dam project) and making sure that that moves forward a lot faster. I mean, we’re spending billions, four million a day, on that train to nowhere,” Cox said.

He also wants to build desalination or water recycling facilities.

On immigration, Cox said he is okay with the undocumented working here, but if they want services they need to immigrate the legal way.

“I’ll give you a chance to live and work here. You’re not going to become citizens because you cut in line. It’s wrong. Go home, reapply. It’s not going to take a dozen years to come back. We’ll make sure that you come back, you come back quickly and then you get to be full citizens,” Cox said.

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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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