Prominent Democratic Candidate Rebukes CNN’s Claim Newsom Faces No Democrats

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Earlier this week, CNN published an article claiming California’s governor faces no Democrats in the coming gubernatorial recall race. After FOX News and other news outlets reported on the article, CNN changed a sentence in their report from “no Democrats are competing against their own party’s governor” to “no party-backed Democrats are competing … .”

In response to CNN’s article, Kevin Paffrath, a prominent Democratic candidate, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the media company, calling for it to correct the wording of its article.

Paffrath is one among a total of nine Democrats out of the 45 candidates running to replace Governor Gavin Newsom in the recall election. He is currently the most prominent Democratic candidate.

He told NTD News in an interview: “It’s obvious, especially after getting a cease-and-desist showing. Look, we are leading in the August polls. We’re number one and two. To not mention this and everything about the recall or update on the recall article, is really just disgraceful. It’s disgusting, shameful, and it’s wrong.”

Paffrath was referring to an August poll by SurveyUSA, which found 51% of Californians favored recalling Newsom. Paffrath and Larry Elder, a radio host and Republican, led the poll with 27% and 23%, respectively.

He added that Newsom’s campaign, called “Vote ‘No’ on Republican Recall” is misleading. Earlier this month, two key backers of the recall election also filed a lawsuit against Newsom, arguing the governor cannot frame the recall as a Republican effort.

“They’re trying their best to pretend we [Democratic candidates] don’t exist. Which I get, because as soon as they acknowledge us, they basically admit that their branding fails. Because this is not a Republican recall. It is a Californian recall,” Paffrath said.

The father of two is also a real estate agent and runs a YouTube channel called “Meet Kevin” which has 1.69 million subscribers. He describes himself as a moderate, JFK-style Democrat.

Paffrath says the race is not just a hard right or left option, but there’s a third, middle option.

“As soon as they acknowledge that there’s another Democrat, all of their branding goes out the window. That’s why they’re trying so hard to make this a, ‘Oh, it’s either going to be Elder and we’re going to turn into Texas or Florida. Here’s the person to the right of Trump. Or stick with Gavin Newsom,’” he said. “You know, that’s the argument. And I think we’re well-positioned to point out that this is entirely wrong and that’s the message that we’ve been sharing.”

Paffrath says he has a 20-part plan to fix California, including homelessness and the housing crisis, which he also mentioned during the California Recall Election Debate hosted by KCRA 3 and San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 25.

Californian residents are already receiving ballots in the mail for the Sept. 14 recall election. Ballots will have two questions for voters to answer: the first asks whether or not Newsom should be recalled, and the second asks who should replace him.

Cynthia Cai

Ilene Eng

Ilene is a reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area covering Northern California news.

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