Former gubernatorial candidate John Cox plans to run for CA governor if Newsom is recalled

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A movement to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom is gaining steam across the state in 2021.

The growing petition, fueled by frustration over Newsom's efforts to slow the COVID-19 pandemic, has several political opponents eyeing a run at the governorship should it become available in the coming months.

RELATED: California Democrats launch effort to discredit growing campaign to recall Gov. Newsom

ABC7 News sat down with former California gubernatorial candidate John Cox to discuss the political climate in the state, and his potential campaign for governor.

Cox says his run should not be taken lightly, and he is fed up with what he sees as large-scale mismanagement of California.

The former candidate says he is particularly frustrated by the vaccine distribution process and a lack of transparency over COVID-19 testing purchases.

RELATED: Newsom announces mass vaccination sites in Oakland, Los Angeles

"You look at West Virginia, albeit a small state, but let's face it, they that means they have fewer people to administer the vaccines," Cox says. "And they used the pharmacies in West Virginia, and they've achieved tremendous success. You know, Kristen, we have 6000 pharmacies in California, we could have distributed this through the pharmacies, and really gotten penetration, and really gotten in people's arms."

The businessman further emphasizes that Newsom's team is afraid of teacher's union bosses, and has kept children out of the classroom unnecessarily.

"A lot of doctors have said that we are doing tremendous damage to our children by keeping them out of school and keeping them out of activities," Cox says. "Yet there's almost no effort to get the teachers back into the classrooms, and we can do it safely. I have no problem with doing that. But we need to make sure that we put politics aside and actually do the right thing for our children and for the economy."

RELATED: Parents of SFUSD students vent frustrations with continued school closures

Cox says he had been eyeing a 2022 run at the California governor position since the 2020 August wildfire complexes.

He adds his decision has been hastened by seeing the death of many California small businesses.

"A lot of small shops, a lot of small restaurants are literally being destroyed, and many of them are not going to reopen," Cox says. "And you're going to find that Independents, Democrats as well as Republicans find that situation untenable. Costco, Home Depot, the big companies, they're all doing just great. But the little guy has literally been crushed, and our kids have been kept out of school, and this is just wrong."

RELATED: Some SF small business owners skeptical of Breed's $62M relief program

You can watch more of ABC7's interview with John Cox in the media player above.

"RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:

"
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.