California

Libertarian Jeff Hewitt Jumps Into California Governor Recall Race

The Riverside County supervisor wants to improve access to school choice and make it easier to build more housing.

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Riverside County Supervisor and Libertarian Party politician Jeff Hewitt announced this weekend he will be running to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election.

Last week, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber determined that recall supporters had gathered enough signatures to force a vote to take place sometime this fall. Three Republicans (including Caitlyn Jenner) had announced plans to run against Newsom.

Hewitt, 67, is the first Libertarian Party member to join the fray. Formerly the mayor of Calimesa, Hewitt was elected to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in 2018.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Hewitt had already been exploring a possible run for governor in 2022, when Newsom's first term would normally end. On Friday evening, he formally announced he was going to run against Newsom in the recall.

In an op-ed that ran in The Orange County Register on Sunday, he explained his reasons. While he is a critic of Newsom's authoritarian pandemic responses, he sees the behavior as a symptom of a much bigger problem in how the state's government gets in the way of its citizens' choices.

"The reason I am entering the race for governor in the recall election is that this state no longer accommodates dreams, fosters ideas or solves problems," he wrote. "Instead, the state seems to grow more restrictive and punitive to individuals who want to make this state a better place to live through hard work and innovation."

He's running on a platform of storing and managing water better, loosening California's notoriously restrictive regulations that prevent new housing construction, and improving school choice by supporting educational savings accounts.

In his op-ed he sells his membership in the Libertarian Party as a plus in a very fractured state, noting that a survey from the Public Policy Institute of California found that 62 percent of voters wanted a viable third party in the state.

"As a Libertarian, not a member of either major party, I have the ability to accept the best ideas of each side and work for consensus and compromise that benefits the state as a whole," he wrote.

Reason took note of the importance of Hewitt's Board of Supervisors win back in 2018 given the size of Riverside County (a population of 2.5 million). Since then, the Libertarian Party has picked up two state-level lawmakers. Rep. Marshall Burt (L–Green River) was elected to Wyoming's state House in November. In Maine, the party picked up a second state-level lawmaker when state Rep. John Andrews (L–Paris) left the GOP in December (a month after getting reelected) and joined up.

Hewitt has also been the subject of two workplace harassment claims, one of which ended with the county settling with the complainant for $50,000.

Below, watch Reason TV's interview with Hewitt from 2019:

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  1. “He’s running on a platform of storing and managing water better, loosening California’s notoriously restrictive regulations that prevent new housing construction, and improving school choice by supporting educational savings accounts.”

    But, but, what about equity? Is he even going to address systemic racism?

    1. I dunno about that, but he does have 2 workplace harassment claims against him. This bodes well for the LP. A real politician is running for once.

      1. When I first moved to my current location and changed my voter registration, I was contacted by the county LP chair. He wanted me to run for office! Why? Because they needed someone, anyone, to run against the convicted child molester who was already running in the LP primary.

        I sympathized with them, but I wasn’t going to run for office merely because I had a pulse. That child molester won the primary several times over the years because no one ran against him in the primary. Unlike the common myth, parties do NOT have the power to pick and choose who gets to run under their name. One reason I opine that political parties need to be fully private entities.

        p.s. I once an across this guy at a meetup, and he was a major creepazoid who tried to explain to me (in drunken voice) that hiring a prostitute for his underaged kids should not have counted as child sexual abuse. Gosh.

        p.p.s. I am also reminded of the story from Pennsylvania when some nice and kindly old dude showed up at the state LP convention and ended up on the ballot for a statewide position. Turned out he was a literal Nazi and the party had to end up endorsing the R or D to extricate their head from their ass.

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        2. You can add racist to his list of characteristics. I met Jeff Hewitt at a CALP convention back in 2017 and upon meeting him he made a comment about “finally being able to say n*gga without feeling bad about it”. This was my first time ever meeting him or attending a Libertarian event so needless to say it all didn’t leave me with the best impression. I’m sure he was just selected to run by the higher ups so donations could flow in to the party since they all believe they don’t have a chance at winning anyway. There’s a lot of money to be made running for office if you know how and Jeff is a pro at that. Thank you for bravely sharing your story at a time when people who speak the truth are being demonized!

      2. You guys don’t waste any time digging up “dirt” on your opponents and smearing them all over the internet, true or not.

    2. Poorly stored water disproportionately impacts BIPOCs.

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    3. But how do his boobs compare with Mary Carey?

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  2. It is against the law in California to vote for anyone other than a Democrat. The only hope this state has is for the Party (always capitalized, as per Soviet tradition) to split into two factions, one of which can actually do math.

    1. So hopefully Palihapitia runs but latest I’ve heard he’s not.

      1. Third best chance is a Democrat that actually owns a calculator. Second best chance is a Democrat who owns and actually knows how to use a calculator. Best chance is a Democrat who owns and knows how to use a calculator, but it’s only a ten digit calculator.

        1. I’d be happy if the candidate could count to 2.

  3. “As a Libertarian, not a member of either major party, I have the ability to accept the best ideas of each side and work for consensus and compromise that benefits the state as a whole,”

    That’s a diplomatic way of writing that neither side has many ideas
    and few of those are good. If Hewitt gets to the debate stage, California may, actually, hear some ideas again for the first time in decades. It was once the state of

    “I believe that the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” ~ Ronald Reagan, in Reason way back when.

    and

    “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.” ~ Ronald Reagan

    1. On a much smaller stage than Reagan, and likely unknown to all but we who despise government non-worker unions and those who love them. Pete Wilson lead the push back against government non-workers and their unions, when Walker were still in diapers.

      Its a shame that Cali has gone so rotten, and that the stench of its rot blows across so much of the rest of America.

      Good luck to Hewitt.

      1. Edit button needed. Should read: “…when Walker and we were still in diapers.”

    2. “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m Here to help.” ~Ronald reagan

  4. Hope he makes the debats but if he is anything like the writers of reason then there is nothing libertarian about them

  5. Have fun with it but don’t expect to win.

  6. The Golden State has devolved into the Pyrite State. Its political class has caused the loss of population for the first time is history. City streets are potholed with human excrement. Unions have ruined its economy. Government excesses have seeped into every cell of its being like some metastatic cancer. California has had its comeuppance and it will be generations before it recovers no matter who is Governor.

  7. Yeah right! If this guy gets more than 5% of the vote, Reason will trumpet California’s libertarian moment has finally arrived…

    It only makes sense to vote L if the two major party candidates equally suck, which they often do, but Ds tend to suck a bit more

    1. True. A little bit more is an understatement. All of the bills California voted against are being forced on all of us by the feds. (Independent contractors, Property taxes, subsidized housing, energy rationing rolling blackouts, affirmative action…)

      What’s a few trillion between friends

  8. Not gay enough.

  9. I take workplace harassment claims with a few grains of sea salt.
    It can literally mean just about anything. Anytime some one feels insulted (microaggression), they file a complaint. Some may be real, however, there are some who need a kick in the arse to get moving.
    Now let’s see how the MSM in Cali handles this. How much you wanna bet it will be the basis for a media wide smear campaign against Hewitt.
    The next thing you’ll hear about are kiddie porn allegations. Or something he tweeted five years ago.

  10. “…He’s running on a platform of storing and managing water better,..”

    We have a drought; that’s caused by lower than average rainfall this past year.
    We have a water shortage; that’s caused by Moonbeam and his preference for hair shirts plus Newsom and his idiocy.

  11. Reason must be just as much of a racist as Jeff Hewitt. In 2018 I was the nominated candidate for California Governor for the Libertarian Party and got NO MENTION by your publication which leads me to believe that I was only ignored because I’m Black. Or should I say n*gger like what Jeff Hewitt said when I first met him?! Brandybuck isn’t lying about him being a creepazoid or about him saying extremely inappropriate things. He’s another ‘least racist in the room’ megalomaniac to maintain the gerontocracy who WeThePeople of California should not and cannot have representing us!

  12. sympathized with them, but I wasn’t going to run for office merely because I had a pulse. That child molester won the primary several times over the years because no one ran against him in the primary. Unlike the common myth, parties do NOT have the
    https://wapexclusive.com/covid-19/
    power to pick and choose who gets to run under their name. One reason I opine that political parties need to be fully private entities.

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