California recall: Paffrath presents himself as Democratic alternative to Newsom

California Governor Recall

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Although Governor Gavin Newsom considers the recall a Republican-led effort, there are some Democrats on the ballot.

One of them, financial analyst and YouTuber Kevin Paffrath, is working to convince voters he is a serious Democratic option.

The California Democratic Party does not have an official backup candidate on the ballot should Newsom lose the recall, but Paffrath — also known as Meet Kevin — is confident he is at least the party’s viable Plan B.

“Gavin Newsom’s branding is ‘Stop the Republican Recall.’ Our argument is this is a California recall,” Paffrath said. “People are fed up.”

The 29-year-old financial analyst, YouTube star and father of two boys describes himself as a JFK-style Democrat who wants to apply his economic expertise to state government.

“My career teaching folks about finances and wealth-building has been all about being efficient with my time, and also helping train others to be efficient with their time to build their wealth, invest in people, education, healthcare, mental health education, so that way the costs and burdens on government are actually lower, we then spend less money on social programs. And instead, we can lower taxes,” Paffrath said.

In his first 60 days, Paffrath promises to immediately focus on the state’s homelessness crisis by working with the National Guard to identify 80 facilities to be used as shelters. 

He also plans to craft an infrastructure package that includes working with the federal government to boost wildfire prevention, increase water access by building a pipeline from California to the Mississippi River and speed up the legal immigration process.

On top of housing, homelessness, wildfire prevention and state spending, Paffrath says Newsom has also failed on COVID-19.

While the Democrat says he is vaccinated and believes in science-based solutions, Paffrath says he does not agree with statewide pandemic-related mandates.

“I believe mandates are the responsibility of individual businesses or local communities,” he said. “I don’t believe a governor can blanket say for the entire state we should or should not have mandates.”

With recall ballots now getting into the hands of voters, Gov. Newsom has urged his supporters to leave question two blank and not pick a replacement candidate.

But Paffrath says it’s nonsense. 

“It’s either really stupid or it’s sabotage that they don’t have a backup. That’s why, we think, toward the end of this election, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they look for a Hail Mary backup option Democrat and based on polling, we expect that to be us right now. The Democratic Party endorses us in the backdoor,” Paffrath said. “When I speak with individual representatives from our federal government, when I speak to our senators and assemblymen and women, they say, ‘We’re voting no on the recall, but we are voting on the best backup Democrat because leaving a ballot blank doesn’t make sense.’”

Paffrath says regardless of the outcome of this race, he plans to run for governor in 2022.

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