Candidates: The September recall election brought John Cox to town. Courtesy photo

John Cox, one of the Republican candidates vying to replace Governor Newsom, continued his “Recall Newsom; Fix California Bus Tour” Thursday, making stops in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica.

Cox is barnstorming the state urging voters to focus Newsom and ignore distractions created by other candidates.

“California is broken. It’s unaffordable, fires are out of control, taxes are too high, homeless are everywhere, there’s a shortage of water and businesses have shuttered,” he said. “The career politicians haven’t solved any of these problems. I have plans to turn around California and as a businessman, I know how to get results. This campaign needs to be about fixing California, not partisan politics.”

Cox is the second candidate to hit the area in as many days following a visit by Larry Elder to Venice on Wednesday. Elder’s trip was cut short by an egg-throwing woman in a gorilla mask and general animosity from residents of a nearby homeless camp.

Newsom has branded the recall as a Republican power grab that would endanger residents by rolling back coronavirus protections and jeopardize national Democratic priorities if a Republican were to appoint candidates to the Senate or Congress.

Recent polling by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California on the critical first question in the recall – whether to remove Newsom – found those supporting his ouster at just 39%. That figure is roughly in line with the vote share for GOP candidates in recent statewide races — in 2018, no Republicans seeking top offices were able to break 40% of the vote — suggesting that represents a ceiling for Republicans and conservative-leaning moderates and independents.

President Biden is expected to join Newsom in Long Beach on Friday for a rally after Vice President Harris came through the state this week.