It is not outside the realm of possibility that a Trump ally could end up becoming the next governor of California.
Breitbart reports that Richard Grenell, the former acting Director of National Intelligence for the Trump administration, is considering running for governor of California — if the recall effort against the current governor, Gavin Newsom (D), succeeds.
The outlet reports that “sources familiar with the matter say Grenell is definitely considering a run for the governor’s mansion if a recall election is triggered this year.”
There’s nothing official yet
Breitbart’s report, written by Matthew Boyle, comes after Grenell made a recent appearance on the Fox News Channel. There, Grenell talked about how California’s current leadership is failing its residents.
“We have Gov. Gavin Newsom who shut down the beaches. Now, this is not part of science,” Grenell said. “We have a governor who plays politics. But we also have a state that is completely run by one party. If you want to have the insiders from one political party, and the well-connected constantly get what they want, then you have to keep electing the same people over and over and that’s what we have in California.”
During the interview, Grenell suggested that California needs leadership that is more like that of Texas or Florida, which led host Sean Hannity to ask whether Grenell was announcing his bid for the California governorship.
Grenell didn’t give a clear answer. But, according to Boyle’s report, which cites insiders, Grenell is certainly considering it.
He could win. Really.
First things first, though, the recall effort against Newsom has to succeed.
Currently, those leading the recall effort have managed to obtain about 1.4 million signatures. To trigger a recall, 1.5 million signatures are needed by mid-March. Considering that some signatures will likely get thrown out, though, the recall organizers are predicting that they need to actually obtain about 1.8 million signatures to be safe, and considering that it is both California Republicans and Democrats who are upset with Newsom, as evidenced by his sub 50 percent approval rating, it is a very real possibility that the requisite number of signatures will be obtained.
If that does happen, then California voters will be asked two questions: do you want to recall Newsom and who do you want to replace him. The first question requires a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote, but it is the second question where things get interesting.
That’s because only a plurality of votes would be necessary to replace Newsom. In other words, the winning candidate may only need about 30 percent of the vote, which would certainly open the door up for a Republican, Trump ally like Grenell.
This has all happened before with the recall effort of Democrat California Gov. Gray Davis and the election of Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003. It could happen again.