FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – In the past 24 hours, Fresno County saw multiple visits from major players in the upcoming gubernatorial recall election on Sept. 14. On Tuesday Gov. Gavin Newsom and state assembly member, Kevin Kiley visited Fresno. And on Wednesday former San Diego mayor, Kevin Faulconer, also visited Fresno. This comes less than three weeks until ballots are mailed out for the recall election. Kiley and Faulconer are one of the dozens of candidates vying to take Newsom’s place. Fresno County could be critical for Newsom and his opponents to pick up votes.
Fresno County is more politically mixed than some of California’s largest counties. To put it in perspective, in Los Angeles County, the state’s most populous county, there are 5.7 million registered voters according to a report published by county election officials in mid-July. Of those, 53% are Democrats, only 17% are Republicans, and 23% are no party preference. In contrast, Fresno County has about 506,600 voters, according to county elections officials. Of that, 40% are Democrats, 32% are Republicans and 20% are no party preference.
Based on these numbers, Fresno County gives Newsom’s challengers a proportionately higher chance of picking up votes. Candidate Kevin Faulconer made his case in Fresno on Wednesday outside the Fresno office of the California Dept. of Water Resources. Faulconer says he will make major changes in handling the state’s water crisis, such as completing proposed dams and reservoirs like the Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat Dam.
“We’ve had projects that have been on the books, but yet this governor hasn’t had the political will and the common sense to move forward with them,” Faulconer said. “I will change that. Our farmers, our agriculture, our jobs depend on that.”
On Tuesday, Assembly Member Kevin Kiley visited Fresno, saying he would call a special legislative session to make major changes between now and the 2022 mid-term election if he is successful in September’s recall.
“I would say we need to pass fundamental sweeping reforms on the key challenges facing our state when it comes to failing public schools, having school choice, when it comes to the soaring cost of living, when it comes to rising crime rates, when it comes to homelessness,” Kiley said.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom visited a health clinic in Fresno, saying his administration’s record speaks for itself, and he feels he has the state behind him.
“We’re going to defeat this partisan effort and we’re going to work hard to do the work that people sent us here to do,” Newsom said. “To address these vaccine issues and the health disparities that have been exposed in this pandemic, to address issues of homelessness and cost of housing.”
The recall election also reaches beyond California. On Thursday, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee will make a visit to Fresno to campaign for the recall effort. CBS47/KSEE24 will bring that coverage then.