Sonoran man runs for governor in September 14 recall election | New
A Republican bailiff from Sonora has launched a long-running bid to topple Gov. Gavin Newsom in the September 14 recall election on a platform he says invokes his immigrant roots and blue-collar ideals .
“We Californians hired these people to do a job, but they forget they’re working for us,” said Diego Martinez, of Sonora. “We have to come back to it.”
Martinez, 45, owner of Diego Martinez Bail Bonds in San Andreas, has a tough road ahead. He joins a crowded field – there are 76 potential candidates and counting from all political stripes on Wednesday, according to Ballotpedia – and has so far been eclipsed in fundraising.
Even in his own party, Martinez comes in the shadow of prolific and recognizable names in Republican Gov. California politics: John Cox, who won the nomination for the 2018 repost and lost to Newsom; Kevin Faulconer, former mayor of San Diego; and Caitlyn Jenner, a former Olympian and reality TV star who launched her own unexpected and unprecedented political campaign.
Martinez raised $ 15,540 from 13 contributions, according to public records via the California Secretary of State’s office, the most recent being a July 1 donation of $ 13,000 from his own surety company.
Jenner raised $ 403,005 out of 31 contributions, Faulconer had nearly $ 3 million out of 220 contributions, and Cox was sitting with the biggest warchest of nearly $ 20 million out of 22,195 contributions, according to the records.
Yet Martinez sees himself as a David against the Goliaths. He said that because he is an immigrant and bilingual he can attract blue collar and libertarians that the big names cannot.
“I’m not flattering,” he said. “I am for justice and I want to be correct in what we do for the people of California. I am the underdog and I am getting where they are not.”
Martinez immigrated to the United States at the age of 6 with his mother, two sisters and two brothers from the small town of Solymar in Uruguay. He grew up in Stockton, moved to Tuolumne County during his freshman year of high school, and graduated from Cassina High School.
His career path took him to the restaurant industry, the lumber industry, and then to the automotive industry for 17 years, where he went from salesperson to general manager, turning dealerships into profitability, a- he declared.
He characterized his success as the embodiment of the “American Dream,” the idea that anyone in America can gain success and upward mobility through hard work.
“Who would have thought that an immigrant who arrived in California at the age of 6 would run for Governor of California in 2021?” Martinez asked.
Since his declaration in 2020, Martinez’s campaign has been largely self-funded, taking him by car to counties and cities like Orange, San Diego, Humboldt, Mendocino, San Jose and Los Angeles. He said he had been featured on Fresno radio programs and interviewed by Univision – the Latin market is an important part of its strategy to ensure a plurality of the electorate – and hosts a weekly show on its pages of social media.
Now, with his papers to appear on the cast ballot, Martinez is stepping up fundraising with a goal of at least $ 5 million “to be competitive” and hopes to get his message out on television.
And while Martinez believes his identity sets him apart from other competitors, his platform is not distinct from traditional Republican Party ideology in California politics.
Martinez described the state as “anti-business” with unsightly and high taxes on small start-ups. He is against the teaching of sexuality and critical race theory in schools, and although he said religion should be excluded from classrooms and government, he asserted that the term “under God “in the oath of allegiance should be protected. He said a decline in agricultural production, fueled by a pro-environmental water policy, has diminished state influence and left it vulnerable to economic infiltration from overseas economies. -mer exporters like China. He said the failure to deregulate the lumber industry has fueled a wildfire crisis and corrupted agencies involved in forest management. He said crime, chaos and riots escalated because politicians were “weak” during the Black Lives Matter protests and gave financial incentives to inmates in the state’s penal system.
On Newsom in particular, Martinez believes a successful recall is imminent due to a dissatisfaction he has called transcending political boundaries between Democrat and Republican.
“Do what I say, not what I do, it backfired on him,” Martinez said of the first Democratic term. “I think he tried to buy votes and people don’t buy him anymore. Gavin Newsom totally failed The Californians.”
Supporters of the recall had obtained 1,719,943 valid signatures (more than the 1,495,970 needed to trigger a recall election) by the March 17 filing deadline.
Opponents of the recall, including the Democratic Party-funded political action committee “Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Gavin Newsom,” called it a “partisan Republican coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists. , anti-immigrant activists and Trump supporters “seeking to overturn the 2018 gubernatorial election, which Newsom won with nearly 62% of the vote against 38% for Cox.
Much of the fury against Newsom has recently been fueled by its COVID-19 policies which included multiple statewide closures and political upheavals of the past two years in the election of President Joe Biden and the Black Lives Matter protests last summer against the murder of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneaoplis cop Derek Chauvin.
Martinez claimed Newsom closed California too early and reopened it far too late. He was critical of economic policies that largely shut down small businesses to in-person sales, but kept big box businesses like Wal-Mart in business with mask mandates.
Martinez, who is not vaccinated, said he was against any form of pressure for the public to be vaccinated, although he believes it should be free for those who voluntarily seek it.
“If you want to go get it, please go get it,” he said. “We must respect each other and respect everyone’s right to liberty.”
Martinez voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, although he said his candidacy was not affiliated with the former GOP president’s national politics as it is strictly California-focused.
“I see California first, not what’s going on in the world right now, because California needs help,” he said.
Martinez filed a nomination paper and nomination papers with 42 signatures at the Tuolumne County Election Office on Wednesday.
At least 65 signatures are required to appear on the ballot and can be filed in any county in the state. Martinez said he plans to submit 30 more signatures in Calaveras County and 25 in Lake County in order to meet the threshold to be confirmed for the ballot before the filing deadline on Friday.
Martinez also paid filing fees – noted online at $ 4,194.94 – with five years of tax returns. A candidate could benefit from a fee waiver if they submitted at least 7,000 signatures.
Debi Bautista, registrar of electors for Tuolumne County, said the election would cost the county around $ 206,750, mainly due to the staffing of polling centers for a period required before the weekend’s election. Labor Day.
The money comes from the county general fund, which funds law enforcement, recreation, libraries, and most other basic public services. It is expected to be reimbursed by the state, although Bautista does not know when or how it will happen.
Bautista said the county was required to keep at least one polling center open 11 days before election day. She anticipates that the Sonora County elections office will be open from September 4 to 6; the Tuolumne Memorial Hall from September 7 to 10; and Twain Harte Bible Church, Groveland Library, Tuolumne Memorial Hall and possibly Jamestown Community Hall (the site had to be moved from Wilson Realty for this election and a new site is pending) from September 11-14.
The County Administrative Center Elections Office at 2 S. Green St. in Sonora will also be open for early voting from August 16 to Election Day during working hours Monday through Friday.
The early vote coincides with the scheduled mailing of ballots to all registered voters in Tuolumne County the week of August 16. All voters will receive ballots in the mail, but they will also be able to vote in person at polling centers.
Completed ballots can also be dropped off in drop boxes at the Mi-Wuk Village Branch Library, Twain Harte near Twain Harte Pharmacy, Willow Springs Clubhouse in Soulsbyville, The Junction Mall in East Sonora, at the Tuolumne County Library in Sonora, Columbia Elementary, the Groveland Branch Library, and at Rocca Park in Jamestown.
Bautista said she does not know of any other local candidates at the moment, although they have until the candidate submission deadline on Friday.
Bautista was working at the county accounting office during the successful recall of Democratic Governor of California Gray Davis by movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger and recalled famous candidates like Roseanne Barr, Gary Coleman and even a stripper showing up for the office.
“There seemed to be more people for the fun of it than seriously thinking about running for government,” she said. “I don’t see it that much here.”
This election had 70% turnout out of 31,000 registered voters in the county at the time. The most recent election on the failed Measure V fire tax recorded a turnout of 42%, while the 2020 presidential election saw a record turnout of 88%.
Today, there are nearly 36,000 registered voters in the county. Bautista estimated that the turnout in the September 14 recall election would likely be around 70%.
“On the one hand, this county for its constituents had a very high turnout of people who signed the petition to remember it,” Bautista said, “and this community is generally engaged.”